Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Take Wheatgrass Shots

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By: Tara Casagrande

If you've ever had a shot of wheatgrass, you know that it's a curiously intense flavor - and definitely an acquired taste. Did you know that this electrifyingly green liquid is packed with a huge amount of hardcore health benefits? Here are some of my favorites:

1. Wheatgrass juice is one of the best sources of living chlorophyll available today. However, to get the full benefit, the chlorophyll must come fresh from a living plant... thankfully, South Block is on top of that! Some benefits of chlorophyll include (how about that, a list within a list!): controlling food cravings, controlling body odor, healing, cleansing of the liver, improving blood sugar problems, etc.

2. Wheatgrass juice is an effective healer because it contains all minerals known to man. It is extremely rich in protein, and contains 17 amino acids- the building blocks of protein.

3. Wheatgrass juice, which is high in oxygen, can dissolve the scars that are formed in the lungs from breathing acidic gasses. The negative effect of carbon monoxide is minimized since chlorophyll increases hemoglobin production.

4. Wheatgrass juice is good for skin problems such as eczema or psoriasis because of its innate antioxidants, which also help to slow down the aging process.

5. Wheatgrass juice provides me with an overall sense of well-being. Can't you tell by the face I make when taking it? :) I've found that wheatgrass juice shots, although strong in flavor, are a lot like taking cod fish oil - hard to get used to but the benefits are incredible.

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This month, we'll be donating 25 cents to New Hope Housing for every wheatgrass shot you take and every Ease yoga class you attend. This is a local organization in Alexandria that provides homeless families and individuals shelter, housing, and the tools to build a better life.

So please, give to yourself and to New Hope Housing this month. Your body and mind will thank you for it. You can sign up for your March classes here.

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Ease Yoga & Cafe Grand Opening: TODAY

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Today is the Grand Opening of Ease. Do I feel at Ease? Literally, yes. Figuratively, not really. It's scary and fun all wrapped up in one body. I have been floating the past few weeks. The number of wonderful people who have walked in the door of Ease and tried us out is overwhelming.

This Del Ray, Alexandria community is fabulous and people have welcomed Ease with open arms. From the bloggers to the yogis and the juicers to the joggers. Herman of Senzu Juicery and I have worked so hard and both of us are thrilled to be living our dream.

Thank you to those of you who have joined us in the past few weeks and Welcome to those who are just learning about us and willing to try. A grand opening for a small business is a huge event. Here's to hoping we all live our life with Ease.

Here's what the expect today between the hours of 9:00AM - 2:00PM:

  • A ribbon cutting ceremony with Mayor Euille, Del Ray Business Association representatives, media, and more at 10:00AM
  • Special FREE demo yoga classes in meditation:

10:45 am - 11 am Meditation with Jennifer
11:15 am - 11:30 am Yoga Flow with Rosie Graves Wiedemer
11:45 am -12 pm Shake your Soul with Katy Baytosh
12:15 pm - 12:30 pm Gentle Therapeutic with Pamela Hostetter
12:45 pm - 1 pm Qigong with Ann Duvall
1:15 pm- 1:30 pm Vigorous Flow with Beth Wolfe
1:45pm- 2 pm Myofascial Release with Amanda Murphy

  • Delicious and healthy Senzu Juicery, Mommy Meals, Power Supply, and Joy Bliss Raw samples
  • Studio tours and meet-and-greets with our new yoga instructors - Social media contests for chances to win Ease Yoga & Cafe apparel (Say the secret phrase "May You Live Your Life With Ease" at the register to receive 25% off a menu item! Valid today only.)
  • Full open menu (bring your appetite!) - Final chance to sign up for the 50/$50 yoga promotion

If you joined us today, please leave a comment to tell us about your experience!

Namaste,

Tara

6 Ways Ease Yoga & Cafe Will Be Environmentally Sustainable

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Happy Earth Day! April is Earth Month and I want to share with you SIX WAYS we are reducing our carbon imprint at Ease Yoga & Cafe.

  • CORK FLOORING. There are so many decisions to be made when building out a yoga studio and cafe. For example, what flooring to use?At Ease, we are proud of our flooring choices. In our two studios, we will be using sustainably harvested cork on our floors. Not only is cork flooring comfy on your feet during your vinyasa, but it also is harvested without injuring the Cork Oak from which it comes. This can be done every six to eight years. Cork is low in VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) emissions and is a good insulator to boot.
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  • NON-PVC TILES. In our bathrooms, we are using bio-based, non-pvc flooring tiles. The Striations BBT tiles are 85% limestone and contain 10% recycled material. The flooring is Sustainability Certified by NSF and scores well in LEED ratings for indoor environmental quality and material resource usage.
     
  • RECLAIMED WOOD.To give just the right look to our Cafe bar, we happily partnered with Second Chance, an organization in Baltimore dedicated to the responsible re-use of building supplies. When you visit Ease for a juice, salad, or snack, you’ll be sure to notice the rustic and beautiful reclaimed wood that covers the front of the bar. That’s from the good people at Second Chance.
     
  • WATER STATIONS.Thirsty after your class? We will have a free refillable water-bottle station. If instead of water, you thirst for one of our great juices, you’ll see that they come in fully re-usable bottles. Return your bottle to Ease and, for every seven bottles you return, enjoy a free juice on us.
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  • COMPOSTING. As you might imagine, all those fruits and veggies in our juices can pile up into a lot of peels, rinds, stems, and pits. Together Senzu Juicery and Ease are committed to composting all that we can.
     
  • RECYCLED CONTAINERS. Lastly, we’ll be serving all our food and beverages using earth-friendly reusable, recycled, or compostable containers.

These are just some of the things Ease and Senzu Juicery are doing to lighten our imprint on the earth. It’s a beautiful planet--we hope you have time to get out and enjoy it this spring!

The Inception of Ease

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My journey with yoga began when pregnant with our first child, over 16 years ago. I thought that I had better get “healthy” since I was going to become a mom. I went to a prenatal yoga class and thought the whole thing was a little too “wooo wooo.” Talk to your baby in your womb before it was born? CRAZY!!! But I did it. I didn’t love yoga but I tried out many different classes. I took some classes at the YMCA where basketball games were going on in the same gym at the same time. Not too relaxing. I had no idea what yoga really was, but I began to get curious. Fast forward two years and we were pregnant again but this time I was told I also had cervical cancer and needed to have an abortion and a radical hysterectomy. Say what? That was quite a summer! My husband Jerry and I cried a lot. I thought I was going to die. I think Jerry did too. I was only 32-years-old and I made a big decision to keep the baby, deliver her at 38 weeks gestation in the cancer ward of John’s Hopkins, and have a radical hysterectomy (keeping my ovaries) immediately following her birth. Luckily, the cancer did not spread to my lymph nodes during the 9-month period my body was making a baby. Riley was a beautiful, healthy baby girl. I was able to nurse her and I did not need to undergo chemotherapy or radiation. To what did I attribute my luck? Slowing down and taking care of me. With Reiki, a mindful diet, massage, yoga and saying "no" to a lot of the things in life that kept me too busy and exhausted, I gave my immune system a break. Some Ease, if you will.

Almost 8 years after Riley’s birth, we moved our whole family- Jerry, myself, and our 3 kids (our third child was adopted from Korea)- to Nosara on the Pacific of Costa Rica. Call it a midlife adventure to avoid a midlife crisis. Life in Alexandria was busy and full but we were missing the fun and adventure we had enjoyed in our years before children.

Nosara Yoga Institute (NYI) was right around the corner from the house we rented. I decided to sign up for the yoga teacher training they offered in the month of November. Before leaving for our Costa Rican adventure, I had been working with a wonderful healer who challenged me to “answer the big questions in life.” Questions like: Who am I? Where am I going? Where have I been? And What is my purpose? On the first day of teacher training, I walked in and saw right there on the wall a phrase written by my teacher: “Yoga is inquiry…Who Am I?” I knew then that I was in the right place. This intense month of two-hour yoga at 6 am, meditation on the beach, more classes in morning and afternoon, lectures, and in the evening two more hours of hands-on experience, changed my life. I laughed, cried, explored, shed and grew. Prior to this experience, never had I imagined that I would teach yoga let alone open a yoga studio.

So here I am today. A beautiful day in April. Our first born, Baker, turns 16 this week; Riley is a thriving 13-year-old teenage girl who may never understand the intensity of that year before her birth; and our son Tae brings love and light to our world. My new expression in life is Perfectly Imperfect. Life is busy and fun. Jerry and I continue to work on marriage and being in relationship while raising a young family.

Ease will open in a month. It is both exciting and terrifying at the same time. Yoga has taught me to invite in the paradoxes of life and to truly feel them. All of my demons come up as the opening of Ease gets closer. Why am I doing this? Is it ego? I really hope not. Will people like it? What if no one comes? What if I fail? Well, it’s too late for all that, the lease is signed. I must go forward. Be quiet, mind!

Ease will be much more than just a yoga studio and juice bar. My hopes are that Ease will attract those of you who, like me, have many blessings in your life but who are curious about what life is all about and how we can live it fully and authentically. Ease is meant to be a place to drop your shoulders and begin to slow down and explore the relationship between the mind and the body. Our space is called “Ease”—the opposite of “Disease.” I believe yoga offers more than stretching and breathing. It offers the chance to slow down and notice what is happening in your body. It calms the nervous system. We all need this. If we do not slow down, our body gets out of sync and we are no longer at Ease, but rather there is dis- Ease in our body. Our thoughts and emotions can begin to rule us.

So, thank you for reading. This blog post is motivated by the cartoon below, where a stick figure says, “I’ll show you mine if you show me yours” (and they reveal their hearts). I hope that by sharing a little piece of myself, I have encouraged you all to share a little of yourselves when you enter Ease.

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