Add some STRETCH to your 9 to 5!

Sitting or even standing at a desk creates problems if you’re doing it from 9 to 5, 40 hours a  week. The body needs to MOVE so blood flows, lymph moves, joints are lubricated, and the brain remains alert. Sitting at a work desk for 6 hours or more has been shown to increase psychological and physical stress. Low back pain, tight hips, plus neck and shoulder tension can pull your attention away from the inbox and feeling productive.

Here are some postures to add between emails, projects, or meetings. Do them either individually or as a sequence. they will not only clear your mind as you focus on your breath and the subtle body sifts, and will leave you feeling refreshed and more focused.

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Downward Facing Desk Dog

Stand with hands resting on your desk and step back until ankles are directly below knees and
hips. The focus is to lengthen the spine and lift the sitting bones up so there is an anterior
spilling forward of the pelvis. If your hamstrings on the back of the thighs or low back feel
restricted, bend your knees. Roll your outer armpits and triceps towards the floor, draw your
navel in, and pull your lower ribs away from the floor to contract your core and lift your sitting
bones as you press your upper thigh bones back. Feel broad in your upper back and soften the
skin on the back of the neck as you extend the crown of the head toward your desk. Breathe
and feel space between the vertebrae as the spine lengthens.


Chair Pose

Place your hands to rest on your desk. Bend your knees to lengthen your quadriceps and
engage your hamstrings. Lengthen your tail bone (sacrum or base of the spine) to the floor in a posterior tilt, engage your core by pulling your lower ribs down, and lift your chest up. Breathe for a number of full rounds of breath feeling engagement and releasing tension as you soften your shoulders from your ears.

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Seated Twist

Sit on your desk chair. Place your feet and knees together. Squeeze your inner thighs and outer
hips in towards each other. Draw your navel in and back to the spine. Lift your chest without
releasing your core engagement and lifting your lower ribs. On the exhale breath, use your
chair as leverage and twist to the right. Twist first from above the navel, then the shoulders,
then the neck, and keep the hips secure and square. Come back to center on the inhale breath
and twist on the exhale to the left. You can hold the twist on each side for a number of breaths
or flow back and forth twisting on the exhale from right to left.

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Seated Figured 4

Sit on your desk chair and cross your right ankle over your left knee. Flex your right foot and
pull the toes toward the shin to protect its knee. Stay here and work on the external rotation of
femur in pelvis or fold forward to deepen the stretch and release. Breathe deeply and calmly to
feel the release. Notice when thoughts arise and pause them. Return your attention to the
sensations in the body. This posture can release long held tensions in the body and leave you
with a calm and refreshed feeling after.

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Desk Chair Forward Fold

Sit on your desk chair and fold forward. Make sure your legs support the rib cage so your low
back can be supported as it’s given the opportunity to lengthen. If this isn’t possible skip this
pose and do the standing version. Let the weight of the head act as traction to release tensions
in the neck. Relax the shoulders and let the arms dangle. Close your eyes and relax the skin on
the bridge of your nose and forehead. Focus on your breath for 5 to 10 counts or longer.

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Standing Wall Forward Fold

Stand 10-12 inches from a wall and lean back to rest your hips. Bend your knees to the degree
needed so the thighs support the ribs and they are making contact. Hold your opposite elbow
and let them relax to the floor. Let your head feel heavy and neck long as you lift your shoulders away from your ears. If you would like to feel more engagement, draw your navel in to contract your core, and spill your pelvis more forward with an anterior tilt. Breathe for 5 – 10 breaths or longer. Release by slowly rolling up through the spine.

This is just a sample and beginning! You can also add some side body stretches or shoulder rises by clasping your hands behind your back and hinging at the hips to fold forward. If you have a specific issue and would like some tips, please reach out to me on my website contact page.


Skip the Arches - A healthy fast food restaurant review

Welcome summer! Days are longer with more spontaneity and less of a desire to spend time in the kitchen. Plus with less structured schedules our best intentions for heathy meals might fall by the wayside. With a little planning there are many options for fast meals that aren’t fast food.

Pure Raw Juice
6809 York Road

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Pure Raw just up the street in Stoneleigh has hit a home run with their smoothie bowls. The generous portion size makes them a cooling summer option for breakfast or lunch. They have the “Traditional” with a base of acai and banana topped with fruit, granola and coconut if you are new to the smoothie bowl experience. If you’re more adventurous and prefer a less sweet option my favorite is the “Omega Blast” with a base of avocado, spinach and banana with berries, pumpkin & chia seeds and granola. Also on the menu are smoothies, juices, and more bowl choices.

Harmony Bakery
3446 Chestnut Avenue

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Harmony just celebrated its 3rd birthday and is a favorite in the Baltimore gluten free and vegetarian communities (and you’ll adore their food even if you’re not)! Their tarts and flat breads are perfect to carry out and serve with a simple salad for an easy summer dinner or enjoy a Caesar kale salad and treat yourself to a brownie, blondie, or cookie after. My favorites are the mocha biscotti and the paleo sunshine muffins. There are always daily specials and new creations, so be sure to follow them on Instagram for regular updates.

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R House
301 W. 29th Street

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If you are a sushi fan you will be more then pleased with Hilo located in Remington’s R House food hall. They have recreated the traditional rolls into sushi burritos & bowls and are open for lunch and dinner. The bowls are fine to carry out, but the burritos would be best eaten on premises as the nori wrapper starts to “melt” from the food’s moisture. Ingredients are fresh and combinations are flavorful with a balance of sweet, savory and umami in every bite.  

5722 Falls Road

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The folks at Roggenart are passionate about bread and each loaf is a masterpiece. Rye flour is imported from Austria and is blended in varying percentages with other flours like oat to create their various selections. The staff is lovely and will take the time to explain the unique nature of each loaf. Along with breads they serve soups, salads, sandwiches, and quiche. It’s the perfect spot for breakfast, lunch, or an afternoon coffee. There is easy street parking in front of the café and ample seating on the second floor as well as the first. (And we all need a little balance so sneak a peek at the authentic European pastries in the front case!)

Belvedere Square & Harbor Point

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Plantbar has the best fresh pressed juices in town, but did you know they have a case for easy carryout with salads and plant based meals? For me, Plantbar is an excuse to take a break and walk to Belvedere Square for a fresh juice (try just celery to rehydrate and refresh). And if you’re game for an early summer cleanse they have packages for juice, soup, and raw food plans as a reset to start the season!

Clark Burger
Belvedere Square & Fells Point

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And when you want a burger Clark is the place! Their outdoor seating is the perfect antidote to a busy summer day. They serve beef, turkey, and veggie burgers on both regular and gluten free buns. My favorite is the Veggie Burger with fresh guacamole and pickled onions and Scott’s is the Clark Burger with cheddar and smoked bacon. You can order through Grubhub but our experience is best when enjoyed on premise.




Another Day...Another Dog

I practice most days and vary what I’m doing (Saturday was aerial yoga, Sunday was a long Yin session and Monday a hot “Bikram” like practice and today a Vinyasa).

But every day there’s a Downward Facing Dog. Why? It’s my favorite pose for spinal extension. It’s like traction. It’s not a resting pose as I’ve heard some teachers say. You are in full engagement to create space!


Try It
•begin in child’s pose and transition to downward facing dog
•spread fingers wide and press with base of pointer finger and thumb to protect wrist and stabilize shoulders
•rotate biceps and crease of elbow forward
•lift shoulders up towards hips
•pull lower belly and lower ribs in to engage core (feel slight tuck of tailbone)
•lift hips and sit bones towards the ceiling.
•press top of thigh bones and inner thighs back (internal spiral)
•lift knee caps to engage quadriceps
•press heals to the floor
•ankles disappear behind second and third toe

Notice how my spine cascades downward from the pelvic bowl and the weight is in my legs. I’m using leg strength to pull body back and core strength to support the length of the spine. This is a leg posture and not an arm or upper body.

Take a photo of yourself in down dog. Is the weight in your shoulders? Is your upper back hunched. Then take the hamstrings out of the equation for now and bend your knees. Press your ribs to your thighs and keep hips lifted high so your spine cascades long to the floor. Further modification can be puppy pose if you have wrist or shoulder issues.


How Healthy Are Your Thoughts

Picture this. A couple dining al fresco in Costa Rica under the stars enjoying wine, house made chips & pico de gallo, salad and freshly caught fish. Sounds like the perfect evening, right? Anyone watching from afar would say, “Yes!”  This was me a few nights ago and yes it was lovely except for some of the emotions generated from the thoughts I was having!

My husband, Scott, and I sat down at a less then desirable indoor table when a single man from Canada gave up his table outside for us and joined others sitting at the outdoor bar. At that moment I felt gratitude for his awareness and generosity and later found he was visiting on a yoga retreat. The waitress soon after brought us water. Then we waited 15 minutes. When she returned we ordered our “cocktails” and chips. Then we waited another 15 to 20 minutes. I was getting “hangry” and a bit annoyed that I was being made to wait for so long until I noticed or “woke up” and said to my husband a quote from Eckhart Tolle author of The Power of Now that we frequently use to get back on track, “I’m not waiting. I’m simply sitting here enjoying myself”.  We both chuckled at the absurdity of being upset by the slow service and spent the next few moments discussing how we are both working on “getting better at it” meaning the self-check of our emotions and the thoughts they generate.

I cannot say it better than the yogi Sadhguru in his book Inner Engineering a Yogi’s Guide to Joy:  “The bitterness or sweetness of any experience is not the event itself, but how you perceive or respond to it.” Through the practices of yoga, meditation, and books like these two along with You Can’t Afford the Luxury of a Negative Thought by Peter McWilliams (my current read) I’m catching myself a little quicker each time and choosing a more peaceful or joyful response.  Just think, the other evening I could have carried around the burden of upset until after paying the dinner bill, but caught myself even before the appetizers arrived. Progress!


All three books mentioned offer something a little different.  The Power of Now could be perceived as a little “out there” and I actually got more from listening to the audio in the car then reading. Tolle has a great sense of humor and it’s fun to hear him chuckle as he guides the reader how to be in the Now. Next you do not need to have a physical yoga practice to benefit from Inner Engineering . I enjoyed his teachings through stories and the lightness he applied to happiness through mindfulness. You Can’t Afford the Luxury of a Negative Thought is an easy read and the perfect primer if this “work” is new to you.

You cant afford the luxury of a negative thought

There are other ways to build awareness as well. One is to begin a gratitude practice. Journal 3 things you’re grateful for every evening. Through the day think about what you’re going to list at night. You will begin to notice the gratitude or positive feelings and catch yourself when the negative pop up. Another is sitting quietly for 5 to 20 minutes (yep! Meditating) will reveal a lot. There is a common misconception that meditation is about total silence and clearing the mind. It can be this, but it is also about “watching” your thoughts and some self-analysis as to the emotions behind them so you can understand your reactions and get a little better at handling the emotions.

Whatever approach you choose, it’s always steps forward and backward. Be gentle and forgiving with yourself when you stumble and use these events as the teachers for doing it better next time.

As always if you need more resources, books or websites email me at and I’d be happy to share.



REVISED Yoga Retreat Dates

Whoops! Even a Yoga Teacher Needs to work on “letting go” of attachments.

We are set for March 9-16, 2019. Email me to reserve your spot!

After seeing Bodhi Tree for the first time last week I knew it would be an ideal place for a yoga trip. The resort is already booked through February of 2019 (and the 1st week of March!) so I have reserved a block of rooms for the SECOND week of March. Please email me ( to let me know if you'd like to come after looking for yourself! 

When –   March 9 to March 16, 2019

Where –  Bodhi Tree Yoga Resort -  A stunning GREEN resort in Nosara, Costa Rica                     
How –     Fly to Liberia Airport (as of today Southwest has a direct flight from BWI to Liberia)

What is included –   

  • Balinese style resort rooms and facilities
  • Bodhi Tree shuttle service to beach, restaurants, town
  • Daily Morning “athletic” alignment focused yoga class with Beth
  • Daily Afternoon or Sunset restorative yoga class and meditation with Beth (times will vary so beach sunsets can be enjoyed as well)
  • 3 daily Spa Meals (on arrival 3/2 dinner only). Food includes chicken, fish, eggs, gluten free, dairy free, vegan, vegetarian and all is Plant Based
  • Salt water infinity pool for laps or relaxing plus shade is available pool side with umbrellas and various covering
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  • Manduka brand yoga mats, cork blocks, bolsters and meditation cushions
  • Gym – full gym with cardio equipment and weights
  • Wi-Fi
  • Costa Rican Taxes (13%)
  • 5 – 10 minute walk to expansive beach
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Extras not included

  • AirFare
  • Transport to and from Bodhi Tree (can be arranged for you once you have flight schedule)
  • Libations at the bar – tropical drinks, wine and beer
  • Juice Bar – smoothies, juices, salads, sandwiches, baked goods and other drinks and snacks
  • Spin and Cardio Classes on site
  • Pilates Reformer Classes
  • NOT TAUGHT BY BETH – extra yoga classes (included are 2 daily classes with Beth)
  • Bodhi Tree Spa – 6+ types 60- 90 minute massages, facials, manicures, pedicures
  • Offsite activities – surfing lessons, stand up paddle board, horseback riding, zip line, off site restaurants
  • Gratuities

Accomodation Choices and Prices

  • King Bungalow
    1 King Bed
    Private bath and balcony
    $2295 per person (2)
  • Queen Size Bed (1) Room
    1 Queen Bed
    Private Bath
    $2270 (1)
    $1895 per person if sharing a room as a couple
  • Queen Size Bed (2) Room
    2 Queen Beds
    Private Bath
    $1995 per person (2)

I need to reserve a limited number of each style room for our group now. Please RSVP by emailing me ( and telling me if you plan to come, whether you'll be coming with someone else, and what type of room you'd like.   

I will contact you once the contract is submitted regarding deposit and the date full payment needs to be received.

This will be a varied group with individuals, friends and married couples. All participants will be comfortable in this fabulous setting!



Bedtime Yoga for a better night's sleep

A bedtime routine can train the mind that it’s time to slow down and prepare for rest. When our kids were young it was a bath, reading a book, and bed. As adults with deadlines and full lives, we forget the necessary time to unplug and create a routine for ourselves. Taking a warm bath with magnesium infused Epsom Salts, or diffusing lavender in the bedroom are ways to send the mind messages that it’s time to let go of the day. Reading a book is a great choice and works for many, and so is yoga. Yoga poses and focused breath in bed can relieve body aches from the day’s routine patterns of movement and reduce stress by calming the mind.

Many feel like yoga isn’t possible because they’re “inflexible” but it’s said it is only the inflexible mind that keeps someone from yoga. Yoga can help you trigger a relaxation response and is associated with reduced stress, anxiety, depression, and insomnia. Plus when yoga is practiced in bed or on the floor the body is fully supported by the surface below and can relax into the poses without the need to balance or exert an opposing muscle to stabilize.

When bedtime yoga is combined with focus on the breath, heartbeat or even the sensations in your big toe additional calming benefits are experienced. Brain patterns and heart rate slow plus blood pressure is lowered and an increased sense of well-being is experienced.

For additional Bedtime and Sleep Tips check out  This site has numerous articles on a variety of topics like “Health Benefits of Napping” & “How to Prevent Jet Lag” plus a multitude of resources and reviews for everything from types of mattresses for back pain to how to buy one online.

Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle)
Benefits – opens groin, hips, thigh


Your bedtime yoga practice might begin and end with just this one pose as mine often does. Simply bring the soles of your feet together (it doesn’t matter how close they are to your torso) and then place a hand on your belly and one on your heart. Bring your mind’s attention to the movement of the breath into your palms and how the muscles of respiration expand and contract with each breath in and out. If this bothers your knees place a pillow under each thigh for support.

Supta Padangusthasana (Reclined Hand to Foot)
Benefits – opens hips, hamstring, groin, calf and low back


Lie on bed with legs extended and pull your right knee into your chest and hold to begin to release the low back and hip. Breathe for 10 breaths or longer. If you would like to lengthen the hamstring hold the back of the thigh, calf or foot and extend the foot towards the ceiling. Hold again and breathe 10 or more breaths. For additional hamstring lengthening and hip opening extend the straight leg to the right.  You can also use a strap or bathrobe sash around the foot to aid extension of the leg. When complete pull the right knee back into the chest and move to the left side.


Supta Vrksasana
Benefits – opens hips, thighs and low back


Lie on bed with legs extended and pull right knee into your chest. Depending on your hip and low back flexibility place your foot on the calf or thigh or groin of the left leg. If this causes discomfort in the right knee bring the foot to the calf and place a pillow under the bent leg.


Viparita Karani (Legs Up the Wall)
Benefits – opens hamstrings and low back plus relieves tired legs and feet


This is another pose that might be all you need to do. It is said to have many therapeutic benefits for insomnia, anxiety, sadness, headaches, varicose veins, menstrual cramps and menopause. 

Sit with one hip next to the wall, pivot your bottom to the wall and swing legs up. Your sitting bones can be next to the wall or not depending on your hamstring flexibility. You can also bend your knees and bring the soles of the feet together in Baddha Konasana up the wall (photo #1).


Got Gas? Or Sugar Cravings? Probiotics & Fermented Foods May Help!

The Gut Microbiome, Fermented Foods, Probiotics, Prebiotics have all been the hot topics in the nutrition world, but what does this mean for you? First the “gut” is the small intestine and to be in a healthy state there needs to be a balance of both beneficial or good bacteria and the bad stuff.  We need a little yeast (or bad buggies) to “eat” heavy metals and remove them from the body. The good bacteria are what we need for a healthy intestinal tract and to boost the immune system. Prebiotics are the plant based fiber that feeds the probiotics. 

Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar

So how do you know if your gut microbiome needs some extra support? If you have belly bloating, gas, or cravings for sugar this could be a clue that you need more probiotics. Most of us need some every day to stay in balance since stress or drinking chlorinated Baltimore city water or eating processed foods or even taking a Motrin for a headache destroys the good bugs. Populating the gut with these good bugs can be done by taking a probiotic supplement (look in the refrigerated case at Mom’s Organic Market at the Rotunda), drinking 1 tablespoon of Bragg Raw Apple Cider Vinegar in water and using it as the vinegar in salad dressings or eating fermented foods. 


Fermented foods need to be cold and never heated or pasteurized which kills the good bacteria. You might have heard about local food producer Hex Ferments based in our own backyard in the Baltimore Food Accelerator on York Road next to St. Mary’s Church and Belvedere Square. Hex makes kombucha tea, a fermented drink and fermented foods like kimchi and sauerkrauts plus seasonal varieties. Hex uses only locally produced and organic foods and follows traditional methods of fermentation, so their products are loaded with digestive enzymes along with the beneficial bacteria. Only a little is needed (1 - 2 tablespoon) to compliment any meal, salad or even eggs at breakfast as my husband does.  One of my favorite ways to make a salad is to use Hex Ferments Glo Kraut in lieu of a salad dressing and topped with sautéed veggies plus chopped egg. Hex’s largest selection of products can be found at their retail outlet in Belvedere Square and also at the year round Waverly 32nd Street Farmers Market on Saturdays 7am – noon and at Mom’s Organic Market. Check their website for more locations and information. 

Once you add probiotics to your healthy food lifestyle you might notice more energy because food is digested more fully, less cravings, less belly bloat and since they help to detoxify the body your skin may look brighter and clearer.  You might also notice less inflammation (stiff joints and puffy morning eyes). There’s not a down side and if you have any questions or aren’t sure how to incorporate probiotics and fermented foods please reach out to me through my website.



10 Healthy Holiday Gift alternative approach to giving!

One of the biggest holiday “stressors” has become what gifts to give spouses, family, co-workers, and friends. Our lives are full, and at times we don’t feel like there is room for one more “thing”. Here are fun, unique, and easy alternatives for your gift giving. 


#1:  Cryotherapy Facial
Tom Ingegno



Charm City Integrative Health is Baltimore’s spot for full body cryotherapy (inflammation, pain), oxygen therapy, salt therapy (respiratory health) and now Cryotherapy Facials. These facials go beyond regular topical treatments by building collagen. Each treatment is 12 minutes long and the immediate after effect is a glowing complexion.  For best results and longer term collagen building a 10 package is recommended with 2 to 3 treatments per week until expired. 

#2  Yerba Mate Tea
Ana Goldseker

Starter tea packages or subscriptions, tea blends (detox, skinny, chocolate & more)
Yerba Mate, the tea of Argentina, is the hottest new tea on the scene! One drinks the tea loose in the mate (cup) with a bom (filter straw). Yerba is an autogenic herb rather than a tea leaf. It has both an awakening and a calming effect. Love for Argentina’s website lists the various benefits of enjoying the tea which range from weight loss to focus to constipation relief.

#3  Aluminate Life by LL Coconut Wax Candles
Liz Lehman


Aluminate Life is a lifestyle collection of organic natural products to enhance your mind- body well being. The candles are made with clean burning coconut wax infused with essential oils that range from restorative to energizing scents (Clear, Lift, Still, Bloom, Dream). Each candle has a healing crystal in the base plus the container is a reusable high ball glass! The collection was developed by a local anesthesiologist who found she was burning the candle at both ends. An injury “forced” her to reevaluate her over-stressed lifestyle. As a result she combined her love of chemistry and the desire to create therapeutic aromatherapy healing products to enhance life. Along with the candles, Liz has essential oil sprays that can be used on linens, yoga mats, bathrooms, and even in the car and Reed diffusers. 

#4 Splendid Spoon Smoothies, Meals or Soup Cleanse 


Splendid Spoon is the perfect gift for the “on the go” type on your list!  Their smoothie plan is perfect for breakfast or afternoon snacks. The meals can be warmed up for a quick lunch or for dinner served on a bed of sautéed veggies. And if you have a health nut who loves juice cleanses or has plans for a New Year’s Detox, the Soup Cleanse is a new approach. It’s a one day program where 4 bottled and 1 meal soups are enjoyed to reset the body’s hunger signals. The meals arrive frozen and can be defrosted the night before or warmed under water. 

#5  Massage

Thai Massage
Gregory Oed
This is a fully clothed massage where Gregory moves your body through positions to release tension and elongate muscles so pain is reduced and mobility increased. 

Therapeutic Massage
Bill Rodick
Bill has a magic touch! If there is someone on your list who needs a little “self-care” and calm, this is the perfect gift. Light touch and deep tissue available.   

#6  Private Yoga Class
Beth Graham
Yoga is a practice for everyone from compettive athletes to those requiring a more therapeutic approach. The best way to learn yoga or improve a current practice is with one on one instruction so proper alignment and form in the postures can be understood. If you have someone on your list who has back, hip or shoulder pain from hours of sitting at the office or is feeling a little stressed, yoga has been shown to help and reduce pain along with increasing mobility and strength. 
Packages and single sessions available. 

#7  Personal Trainer 
Carlos Dorsey
New Fitness Creations is a program created by Carlos to help participants reach their fitness goals by developing strength and cardiovascular health. He will help you sculpt your body while building agility and flexibility. Carlos can help you create a home based program or one in a gym. He has a “never give up attitude” and is committed to supporting you reach your goals.  

#8  Mom’s Organic Market or Trader Joe’s

Gift Cards available 


Mom’s is located in The Rotunda in Hampden and Lutherville at York & Ridgely Roads.   Trader Joe’s is in Towson at Kenilworth

#9  Dry Farms Wine Subscription 
Wine Subscription
Dry Farm Wines is not a vineyard but a wine distributor and all wines must share natural farming and traditional wine making practices. Wines are low sugar/slow carb, biodynamic (organic), mold free, low sulfates and low alcohol (12.5% or less). Wines must meet their exact and specific standards including lab analysis by a certified oenologist. Along with wines meeting specific criteria for nutrition/diet programs, they must also meet standards for the optimal mind and body enjoyment! 

#10  Feng Shui Consultation 
Cheryl Oed
This is the perfect gift for a new homeowner, someone who has recently moved, or the home decorator on your list. Think of Feng Shui as acupuncture for the home.  It’s about placement of furniture and use of elements (water, wood, metal, earth, wind) to enhance the feeling of well being by moving energy. The home is divided into sections (health, love, work, wealth/abundance etc.) and Cheryl will show you how to stimulate the specific areas.