YoTeacher and dedicated locavore foodie Abby Paloma has been teaching at YoGanesh since we first hoisted up our Ganesha banner. She spoke to us about her divine double life – Manhattan half the week, and running bucolic organic farm dinners the rest …
I live half the week in upstate New York, in a town called Pawling, running Growing Heart Farm. The other half of the week, I teach yoga in Manhattan.
What’s are your yoga chops?
OM taught me how to have precise alignment while maintaining a flowing class. OM style is a vinyasa practice with mindfulness and attention to alignment.
Judith and Elena have both been dear mentors in my life and my teaching. I admire both of their focus on “softness” and how they teach about what it truly means to embody your yoga practice in your day to day interactions. Judith continues to teach me new levels of perceptivity and how to be a better teacher. Elena continues to inspire me with her joyful adherence to truth and grace.
What are your favorite poses, and what tips do you have for doing them correctly?
One of my poses is triangle pose. I love it because it makes me feel strong and tender at the same time. My tip is to remember to use the strength of your legs and to remember it is a slight twist, allow the lungs to spin up.
Tell us about your Yoga for cancer classes …
I have studied and trained with Tari Prinster, who is a cancer survivor and teaches classes throughout the city for women cancer survivors. These classes are taught with a lot of sensitivity to the varying stages students may be with their health. In these classes, I focus greatly on breath and being able to identify and release tension in the body and mind.
So tell us about your rural alter-ego …
Yoga is exactly what got me into farming. I began to understand what nourishment in my body actually felt like, because my yoga practice made me more aware of my body. This led me to and interest in the food I eat, which brought me to the earth, and growing my own food.
The big intersection for me is at my farm-to-table yoga dinner events at where I have a chance to bring yogis to the farm, teach about where food really comes from and foster the connection between our bodies and the earth.
What tasks do you do, running growing heart farm?
Over the past 3 seasons I have done a bit of everything from working in field to managing the CSA to organizing events and volunteers. This season my focus is on my medicinal herb garden and organizing our farm to table yoga dinners and retreats.
Sounds like a wonderful getaway for our Ganeshers!
I think our farm to table yoga dinner is perfect for Ganeshers. I am teaching the our next yoga dinner on August 18th. Here’s what we do: spend a relaxing day at Growing Heart Farm in the Hudson Valley and indulge in the best of the harvest season. Stretch in the sunshine with a yoga class lead by amazing teachers. Afterwards, nourish your body with an “ultra-ganic” meal grown in our field and prepared by holistic chefs.
What are your best healthy eating tips?
The most radical thing you can do to eat healthy is to know where you food comes from. Avoid meat when you do not know its source. Most meat in the USA is from unhappy animals and those how produce do not uphold healthy practices in which how they treat the earth and their animals. Go for local meats, meet your farmer, shake their hand.
Reflect after a meal and notice how what you eat makes you feel. Notice your energy level and emotions that arise. Then notice what you just ate that might be influencing that!
Oh yes – eat more greens! Especially kale.