Best Pumpkin Pudding EVER. (Vegan & GF!)

My original inspiration for this was based off a chocolate chia pudding recipe. After discovering this amazingness, I thought “why not make a fall flavor?”

With some trial and error experimenting with different concoctions, I’d finally made the best pumpkin pudding ever. I know that’s a tall order, especially if you enjoy pumpkin anything as much as I do. Not only is this a tasty treat, but it’s also really good for you. Not to mention it’s vegan and gluten free but somehow super simple to throw together.


  • 1 1/2 cups raw cashews
  • One can of pure pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup – 1 cup chia seeds (preference based)
  • 1/4 pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 2 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup of coconut oil


Step 1:

Soak the cashews overnight (or a few hours depending on the consistency you want)

Step 2:

Add all ingredients, including cashews, into a food processor. Blend until smooth and serve chilled.


And it really is just that easy. A super healthy, super tasty, quick treat to make. The chia seeds alone are packed full of nutrients; protein, calcium, magnesium, and Omega 3’s, just to name a few. The pumpkin is full of vitamin A, tryptophan and fiber. Although pure maple syrup is high in sugar, it still contains some vitamins, minerals and antioxidants; the most notable being zinc and manganese.

I usually take all of the ingredients and throw them together so I wouldn’t get too concerned about the measurements. Let me know if you’ve come up with any creative variations and I hope you enjoy the recipe!

guru teachers

Students, Beware the Guru Teacher

“I am your guru, I will always be your guru” was one of the first sentences spoken by a yoga teacher leading a 200 hour training. Hearing stories like this always makes me worry about vulnerable students during teacher trainings, which is pretty much everyone. The minute you open yourself up for this kind of journey there’s an instant vulnerability, especially to the influences of a teacher. This alarming trend of self-proclaimed “guru teachers” inspired me to write an article about finding your guru. But I felt like this needed to go deeper: like those who were taking advantage needed to be exposed.

Fortunately, I am a firm believer that the universe has a way of working things out. After the emergence of multiple lawsuits against widely popular guru teachers it’s clear the global yoga community has finally put its foot down. No longer will we stand for sexual harassment disguised as physical adjustments or the advances made by unethical teachers.

Beyond the the obvious unethical behavior there is a wider issue at stake for those seeking spiritual salvation. Suddenly, we are marketed with the idea of a guru teacher and being sold on the idea of reaching “samadhi” (union with the divine: pure bliss). Despite being optimistic, I have a hard time believing anyone making claims for their “enlightenment.” I trust that anyone who has attained such a state would have no need to proclaim it to the world. I do accept there are leaders with priorities other than gaining status who hold genuine concern for people rather than profits. Abundance is possible while helping others in the process, I am simply suggesting that not every single guru teacher has this in mind.

guru teachers

I am not saying do not seek spiritual freedom or a yoga teacher. Find a yoga teacher who is humble, skilled, and confident without being overzealous. Luckily, there are many passionate teachers in this world who have found this delicate balance. Here are a few warning signs and what to look for in a yoga teacher:

1.) If someone refers to themselves as your Guru or Teacher (exclusively)… RUN 

Yes, they can call you their student but beware if there is an attachment to exclusivity. There are so many amazing teachers that have valuable insight to offer. However, beware the guru teacher. This may be a situation where bolstering their ego takes priority over truly making a difference. Any great teacher can recognize there are many other skilled professionals in their field without feeling threatened by them.

2.) Their method is “the best” method

One of the unique parts about teaching yoga is all of the different perspectives offered. There are so many types of yoga and teaching styles that can fit specific needs, so how could you justify “the best” method? For instance, during asana practice (a.k.a. the poses), alignment and teaching methodology has many inconsistencies even between well-known, experienced and knowledgeable teachers. When you also consider all of the different body types and abilities there can’t really be one perfect method. There are many experiences, intentions, and considerations, but who is to say what is “right” and what is “wrong.” The way that I’ve come to terms with this concept is finding what is right for me, and that is what I like to share with students. However, what’s right for me may not be for everyone, which is perfectly fine.

3.) Understanding that we are all human

We’re all human, we’re all sharing this experience… So let’s stop putting yoga teachers on a pedestal! Don’t get me wrong, I have a few teachers who I really look up to. They have incredible teachings to share, but one of the greatest qualities a teacher can possess is empathy. A teacher is not immune to sadness, weakness, doubt and fear, but hopefully they are determined to overcome these hurdles and encourage you to do the same. These fluctuations are part of the human condition, but the frequency and variability of these emotions can be soothed with yoga and meditation.

If you are seeking a teacher, be cautious of the warning signs but maintain the understanding that we are all human. We all seek growth, and continue to be in the process of learning.  It’s the ability to connect with your own true nature for purpose and guidance. I encourage everyone to find great teachers in their life, but always listen to their inner guru. This will be your most powerful tool to discovering true value in the knowledge you already possess.


3 Non-Yoga Movies with Yogic Messages

If you’re like me, you love to decompress with a good movie from time-to-time. When the weather’s not on your side, movie-night can be the perfect solution. I appreciate a good yoga documentary but it’s fun to watch a movie with more discreet messages. Here’s 3 unexpected yogic movies to add to your list.

1.) Cloud Atlas


If you’ve tossed around the idea of karma and past lives, this movie is guaranteed to spark your curiosity. It makes you wonder how our actions and reactions shape our destiny, for this life and the next.

2.) The Matrix


Ever felt trapped by civilization and societal pressures? Watch Neo discover the true nature of his reality, and how his perspective on the world shifts. It’s a good reminder of how we have the option to be trapped or liberated by our mind.

3.) Fight Club


This one always surprises people. How can this movie be yogic but violent at the same time? Many of the themes in the movie have yogic undertones. Whether it’s letting go of your possessions, finding your truth, or accepting liberation, “Fight Club” hits all the right notes when it comes to yogic messages.

Read more on the yogic lessons of Fight Club

Hope you enjoy these movies as much as I did! Do you have any great suggestions for the modern yogi? Please let me know in the comments!

Gyan Mudra Arm Joints

Anatomy in Yoga

An excerpt from the Yogacara Yoga Teacher Training Manual by Emily Kane

An understanding of anatomy is key for the safety and development of your students. Integrating this knowledge can encourage injury prevention and facilitate the healing process. It can connect a deeper understanding of the philosophies in creating yoga sequences for public and private classes. For private classes, if there is a specific area of focus, then you can design a practice that addresses those concerns.  An anatomical awareness also prepares you to take on students with injuries in a safe and effective manner. Using variations, props, and mindful sequencing to compliment this information can create an inclusive yoga class.

An understanding of anatomy also gives you the tools to analyze your practice and teachings to create effective movement patterns. This encourages proper sequencing techniques that include adequate warm-ups and poses with appropriate counterposes. It also reinforces the importance of alignment for the purpose of safety for our joints, muscles, tendons and ligaments rather than for an esthetic appeal. The patterns we create on our mat have the ability to affect how we progress outside of yoga, meaning that our muscle memory creates healthy habits to impact other activities in our daily lives.

The evolution of yoga suggests that one day it can be utilized for rehabilitation in a clinical setting – perhaps a connection can be made between medical providers and the application of yoga as therapy. This is one of the many reasons anatomy should be part of the curriculum in any yoga teacher training.

In teaching yoga, it is important to realise it is your awareness of anatomy that is useful to the student. In modern yoga it is common for teachers to cue anatomical jargon which becomes problematic. Your students likely came to you for the experience of yoga, not an anatomy lesson, and as a teacher this intention should be your priority. There are a few reasons why this creates a barrier between the teachings and your students.

To read more, please refer to Yogacara Whistler’s Blog.


Snow Yoga Sequences

Written by Emily Kane – owner and yoga teacher


Skiing and snowboarding is pretty popular this time of year in Whistler Village, especially after a snowfall. Handling powder can be a challenging workout and yet, it still has the qualities of meditation. Its ability to connect you to bliss, nature, yourself and a higher consciousness can make sliding on snow a spiritual experience. The only potential limitation is a body that’s unprepared for the demands, making it difficult to enjoy the ride. So how do you prepare yourself to connect with ease and grace? Snow yoga sequencing can get you ready to take on powder and to start loving pow-days.


My Favorite Snow Yoga Breath: Ujjayi (a.k.a ocean, serpent’s, or victorious breath)

When you’re on a cold chairlift, there’s nothing better to calm your mind and heat your body up than ujjayi breathing. Krishnamacharya, one of the founding fathers of modern yoga, said that ujjayi breathing increases oxygenation and builds internal body heat – perfect for a cold day.

How to:

– Gently tuck your chin and constrict the back of your throat. This creates the “neck lock” a.k.a. Jalandhara bandha

– The constriction should be as if you were fogging a mirror, but with your lips closed. Practicing the breath on your inhalation and exhalation.

– The breath should be audible to you, or even a person next to you, but the sound is subtle enough to maintain a calm awareness of your breath without disturbing your nervous system

You can practice Ujayyi breathing on it’s own in meditation, but it’s also useful during a physical practice. Try ujjayi the next time you’re on a chairlift, or while practicing one of the next poses.


Snow Yoga Pose #1: Chair – Utkatasana

Snow Yoga Pose #2:  Boat Pose – Navasana

Want to learn the “how to’s” and anatomical considerations? Visit the original on Yogacara Whistler’s website

Best Lasagna Ever – Vegetarian, Wheat-Free and Gluten-Free

As Whistler settles down into fall I find myself ready to get back to cooking. Normally I love cooking but during the baking heat heat of the summer (no pun intended) I’d much rather stick to raw foods, or meals that use very little heat. So as fall arrives I’m finally starting to love using my oven again. Without further adeu, one of my favorite dinner recipes.

What you will need:

Olive Oil

2 Large Eggplants (based on an 8×12 pan)

1 jar of pasta sauce (about 500mL)

5 Carrots (shredded)

1 Onion (chopped)

1 cup spinach (or kale)

1 Orange Pepper (chopped)

1/2 cup crumbled feta

Enough shredded cheese to cover 8x12pan


Slice eggplant in large, VERY thin strips. Lightly fry both sides so they’re slightly crisp on edges and to loose excess moisture. Keep “done” strips on a side plate.

Pour a light layer of sauce that covers the bottom of the 8×12 pan. Cover bottom with shredded carrots and onions, spread evenly. Add a layer of eggplant that acts as “noodles” – cover entire area. Cover a layer of spinach (or kale) then add chopped orange pepper to layer. Spread crumbled feta evenly throughout layer then cover with another eggplant sheet. Spread feta cheese so it covers the whole top sheet of eggplant.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees, bake for 25 – 30 minutes.

The quality of ingredients for this recipe is important to create tasty results. I prefer to use organic ingredients and I really believe this makes a difference. The sauce also plays a key role – make sure it’s well flavored with garlic and spices. Enjoy and let me know how it turns out!

Guan Dao

How “Fight Club” Can Make You A Better Yogi

Written for the Yogacara Yoga Teacher Training Blog

Fight Club may not sound like a yogic movie but its underlying insights could make it one of the greatest “must-see” films for any yogi. Although fighting isn’t exactly “ahimsa” (a non-harming principle in yoga) many of the quotable moments reflect buddhist-like principles to achieve peace within oneself.

“The things you own end up owning you” and “It’s only after we’ve lost everything that we’re free to do anything”

These two quotes are equally as important in terms of yoga. We often get really caught up in our possessions – either creating attachment to what we have or yearning for the things we want….

To read the rest CLICK HERE


Excessive Anatomy in Yoga Classes – Advice for Teachers

Written for the Yogacara Teacher Training Blog


Anatomy and physiology are important components to learn as a yoga teacher. An understanding of the human body is crucial in structuring a safe practice; however, this is often taken to the extreme during yoga classes. It is possible to navigate the world of anatomy in a way that adds value to your classes but it’s important to know what to use and avoid.

 To read the rest of the article CLICK HERE


How Small Decisions Make Big Life Changes

Written for the Wanderlust Festival Blog



A lot of us wait for significant life events to kick start life-changing decisions. Whether it’s New Year’s Day, a reunion, or a big trip that prompts us, we seem to think we need these occasions to create a “game changer.”

I recently went to India which was an amazing experience but many people told me it would change my life. Although, it was eye-opening, I didn’t feel like a different person when I arrived home. I appreciated my country more than ever, as well as the beauty and culture of India, but I still felt like the regular old me. I even found myself stuck in the same loops that had previously held me down. None of my problems had changed and none of my tendencies dissipated.

Read More Here: Wanderlust Blog



Inspiration is a concept a lot of people are obsessed with. How do we create transformation or keep things “fresh”? And most importantly: how can we influence others to be the best that they can be. These are questions that many of us have but are never limited to one profession or passion. It doesn’t matter whether you’re teaching a classroom, boardroom or yoga studio – inspiration is universal.

This past weekend I had the opportunity to enjoy Wanderlust in Whistler. It was nice to host such an amazing event in our small mountain town. We’re blessed to experience the good vibes it always seems to bring along with it each year. There were many incredible workshops – I feel like I learned some valuable information, whether it was on a specific topic or finding something about myself.

Although many of the classes and seminars could be seen as inspirational, this same idea sparked an epiphany. It may have just been the meditation talking but I felt like I could BE my own inspiration. A lot of the time we look to people, books, and quotes to gain inspiration – it’s great to admire beauty but I think we downplay our own personal power. There’s so much we can gain from our own insight, wisdom and experience. I feel like every time I get on my yoga mat there’s something I’m meant to learn or realize.

We’re often so focused on what we can find outside of ourselves to be inspired when we have so much potential. It doesn’t matter whether you practice yoga or meditation for 6+ hours a day. Yoga and meditation can help you “tune in”, but ultimately transformation happens with confidence in yourself and your ability to listen to those little bursts of clarity.