Wine Hike Anyone?

It was a picture perfect day for an outing! My sister and I met our group for the Malibu Wine Hike and off we went. After we made it over the first rise, we stopped to have a photo taken by our guide. Pretty cool photo op spot, Maria and I were framed in the great outdoors!

Our excursion went high into the in the Malibu Hills. It wasn’t easy to find the entrance for the hike from the road. I spotted a sign for Saddlerock Ranch, thankfully I knew that was part of the tour, other wise I would have missed it.

We were promised we would be seeing several different kinds of animals and sure enough, there were the zebras! Too bad the giraffe was hiding in the back.

There were some fun old western artifacts and Chumash Native American cave paintings but the paintings looked more like red splotches.

Nature abounded on this warm fall day!

The scenery was spectacular, Southern California at its best!

Our guide, Joe, placed my sister, Maria, in exactly the right spot for a great snap. Who knew we were going to have such a great photographer for a guide.

We eventually found ourselves in the woods. There were colored lights and a mirror right in the middle of it all.

We walked at a leisurely pace, giving me time to reflect.

We had a short break at the organic gardens which featured vegetables and vibrant flowers.

I’m in the blackberries!

Cute alpacas! We also saw llamas, horses and bulls.

Enjoying the view. The vineyard had a couple of different water features on the property.

So many pretty spots to take in but it was time to climb the last hill of our two mile hike.

Couldn’t have been a more beautiful day! It was about a two hour jaunt. It was a lovely gift from my sister.

Joe, gave us a fabulous tour, full of interesting observations. He took lots of photos of our group and sent a photo file to us.

Because of COVID restrictions, we couldn’t do our wine tasting, but we did get to choose two half bottles of wine to take home. The entire staff was very friendly and helpful. I highly recommend this hiking tour.

Gratefully yours,


Let my soul be at rest again, for the Lord has been good to me.” – Psalm 116:7

Get Twisted For Healthy Hormones

When you hear the word hormones, the first thoughts that might come to your head are women’s problems or virility in men. In actuality, hormones are essential to the function of our every day life, this includes the functions of: digestion, metabolism, growth, reproduction, and mood control.  The endocrine system is made up of all the body’s different hormones and regulate all biological processes in the body.

Balancing Your Endocrine System

I enjoy twisting and stretching to open up the energetic pathways in my body. For example, the twisting and bending in yoga invigorate the adrenals and thyroid gland. Yoga is very beneficial for the endocrine system and hormonal health. As you move, your body signals the brain, nervous system and endocrine system to all work together.

“Hormones are extremely powerful actors in the body, so when any of them are out of balance, they can impact a very big range of systems and processes in the body.” – Yoga U

Hormonal imbalances can be caused by lifestyle factors, including unmanaged stress, poor diet and environmental stressors. For instance, if we eat a high sugar diet, our pancreas can be overworked trying to offset all that sugar intake. If we take in environmental toxins through food, cosmetics, water, or the air we breathe, our hormonal system can be impacted by the endocrine disruptors in these toxins.

For some of us who have sedentary lifestyles, organs and glands can get stagnant when there’s no blood flow; our lymphatic system can’t move the toxins out of our bodies. 

Turkish Twist

How can Yoga Help

With yoga, we can revitalize our glands and organs. “As we twist, we are wringing out those organs and glands that are being affected by the twist. When you come out of the twist, you get a great fresh blood supply into that organ or gland, bringing new energy and blood flow into that area.”

Twisted Lunge

Pro Tip

In Twisted Lunge be sure your front knee is over the ankle and your hands are pressing towards your heart center. The muscles of the back leg are firm and strong and the shoulders are stacked.

Are you ready to get twisted?

Best in health, Linda

The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, turning a person from the snares of death. – Proverbs 14:27 

Blog content is for information purposes and is not a substitute for medical advice from your doctor. Copyright – All rights reserved

There Is Always Light

It’s a beautiful new year. Have you made any new year resolutions? I don’t make resolutions but I do make goals. In achieving them, I use both focus and flow. I focus on my intention but I’m open to letting God direct me in how to accomplish my objective (getting into His flow). Affirmations are a beneficial tool that move my dreams from something that is just an idea, into physical reality. 

Bathe In the Light

Affirmations are positive statements that can assist in overcoming self-sabotage and challenge negative thoughts. Start thinking about what you are thinking about. Sitting daily with positive affirmations, helps us unravel the layers that can pile up and bind our soul and dim our light. In this unraveling process, we receive clarity, freedom and light.

There is a dynamic connection between words and actions.


Affirmations are not forced into your mind, but with repetition or meditation, you will feel the mantra resonate in your heart, body and soul. Words have a vibration; they can be a map to your future. Visualize your affirmation and become one with that picture, feeling or vibration. Seek to live in positive and truthful vibrational harmony. Perform the mantras softly, loudly, or even silently, repeating them for about five minutes per session.

Feeling the change you want to experience is what helps your positive affirmations work.

Positive affirmations don’t necessarily have to be goal oriented. They can be centering or joyful thoughts too. Below are some affirmations I share with my yoga students. They’re pretty general but maybe there are a few that you would like to incorporate into your life and daily practice. The more direct and specific your affirmations are to you personally, the better they will work.

15 Positive Affirmations

“I am valued.” 

“ I am relaxed and focused on positive outcomes in challenging situation.”

“I am alert and my energy centers are active and flowing.”

“Like the butterfly, I am unfolding wonderfully.”

“I am grateful for all that I have and all that I am.”

“I am delightfully present.”

“I am right where I need to be. Everything that is meant to unfold will do so in its own time.

“ I am living my life with integrity and truth.”

“I am receiving a blessing today that will benefit myself and others.”

“I am worthy of loving relationships.”

“I am peaceful; I feel incredible lightness of being.”

“Every cell in my body vibrates with love. I am love”.

“I am unique and made with Divine intention.”

“I am loved. I feel the unconditional love God has for me.”

“I am healed. As I heal myself, I also heal others.”


Your personal affirmations should always focus on the solution, not the problem. Use the words “I am”.

Reciting daily affirmations is ‘not a name it and claim it’ endeavor. There is inner and outer work that will be done and shadows that will have to be examined in the process. One of the most important paths to enlightenment is to remove fear from your consciousness. There is no fear in perfect love. As Jesus says, love God first. This is so we can love others. It is the love and worship of our Father, God, and rendering service to Him, that our love for ourselves and others will flow. The “I am” becomes the “we are”.

For my Christian brothers and sister, who prefer only Bible based affirmations, I have prepared something for you here: God’s Promises From His Word.

As children of God, we have within us His seed of perfect love and light.

Be the light,


You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness.” – 1Thessalonians 5:5

Sunshine on My Shoulders Makes Me Happy

Soaking up some sunlight can do wonders for your well being. It’s important for your mental health to get outside in the late fall and winter months because of shorter daylight hours. Some people experience the winter doldrums with fewer hours of sunlight. I feel my mental outlook and emotional health benefit tremendously from sunshine and being outdoors.


As I headed out on an excursion to Point Dume on a crisp fall day, I was delighted by a display of wildflowers unusual for this time of year and the end of California’s dry season. I never saw poppies growing in November, they are normally springing early summer bloomers, but there they were, adorning the hills of Malibu.

Another surprise, Green Spot Nightshade. I only see this wildflower growing in the spring, and even then it is rare. 

Ice plant is not native to California. It can be a nuisance in some ares but no one told the bees that!

California aster grew along with the Ice plants.

As I rounded the bend on the Point Dume trail in could hear the seals and sea lions barking from the rocks out in the ocean in the distance.

The drier areas offered little in the way of wildflowers but there were colorful prickly pear cactus.

Mountain tail-leaf cover a large portion of the west side of the trail.

Beautiful white and yellow wildflowers clustered together.

Crazy! Bush sunflower dried up months ago where I live only 20 minutes away. Here it was still thriving despite no rain. The different and varied microclimates in Southern California present so much variety for plant life.

It’s difficult to access this secluded beach. It’s very inviting if you don’t mind climbing rocks.

I was hiking with my sister that day. She snapped this pic of me at a popular photo spot, high up on the Point Dume cliffs.

We took in the spectacular view of Zuma beach and breathed in the fresh ocean air, then started back down the hill.

“Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy… sunshine almost always makes me high.” – John Denver (Sunshine On My Shoulders)

Oh wow, more wild flowers! Telegraph weed (Heterotheca grandiflora) popped up here and there along the sandy path.

Pretty wire lettuce flowers made a stark contrast against the dry brush!

Beach primrose (Camissoniopsis cheiranthifolia) also called: Beach evening primrose or beach suncup.

Sea rocket thrives in sandy areas.

Rest time, relaxing on the beach. The sunshine on the water was lovely on Zuma beach. Grateful for a beautiful refreshing day, full of sunshine and wildflower surprises.

As the winter season approaches, keep a sunny disposition and get out in the sun. Some doctors recommend you expose your skin (without sunscreen) to modest amounts of sun for the feel good endorphins UV rays produce in the body. There is a debate as to how much sun? Certain doctors say between 5 to 15 minutes, more if you are darker skinned. Too much can cause skin cancer but a little may actually stave off other kinds of cancers and diseases. In addition, sunlight on the skin starts a metabolic and chemical chain reaction in the body that produces vitamin D. Vitamin D boots immunity, strengthens the bones and more.

“There is now limited but convincing evidence that moderate sunlight exposure is capable of modulating the immune system and improving health.” – Daniel G.  Maglio, a professor at the University of Buenos Aires and researcher in the growing field of photo-immunology.

Stay on the bright side and stay happy, Linda

“But each day the Lord pours his unfailing love upon me, and through each night I sing his songs, praying to God who gives me life.” – Psalm 42:8 NLT

Blog content is for information purposes and is not a substitute for medical advice from your doctor.

Copyright, all rights reserved

Balance and Longevity

Good Balance – Good Health

Having good balance can be a predictor of how healthy you are and how long you will live. Not only because good balance can prevent falling injuries, but surprisingly, it can also improve cognitive functions. Poor balance can foretell Dementia and has been linked cognitive decline.

Practicing physical exercises that improve balance—such as yoga or Tai Chi—could reduce the risk of dementia as you age. – Psychology today

People with almost any fitness level can improve their balance. You can practice balance by standing on one leg as you brush your teeth or watch TV. Tree Pose in yoga is another excellent exercise to train your balance.

Tree Pose

Start with your leg turned out to the side. Place your foot on the inside of the ankle, calf or thigh. As you hold the pose, keep your core engaged and draw your shoulder blades together while keeping your ribs tucked. hold you gaze on a spot in front of you. And don’t forget to smile! For a challenge, see if you can hold the pose with your eyes closed.

Once you have mastered Tree, try these other challenging yoga asanas.

Half Moon Pose


This yoga pose will improve balance and coordination. It strengthens your legs, core and buttocks while stretching the hamstrings, calves, shoulders, chest and spine. I like approaching half moon pose (Ardha Chandrasana) from pyramid pose because my hands are already securely on the ground but you can also flow from triangle, side angle or warrior 2 for a challenge. 

How to execute Half Moon Pose:

  1. Forward fold into a pyramid pose with your left leg forward, right leg back. Enjoy this pose for a few breaths. When you are ready, bend your front knee and place both hands on the floor. 
  2. Walk both hands forward about a foot, (similar to a runners lunge position) as you straighten your left leg, lift your right leg to hip height keeping it in line with your torso.
  3. Open your right top hip to the sky as you flex your right foot and lengthen and energize you leg. Feel energy extend out the heel of your foot. 
  4. If you feel stable place the right hand on your hip as you open your body to the side.
  5. Next, you can take the arm all the way up vertically. Continue to open the body as you lift your gaze to your top hand.
  6. Hold your gaze and breathe slowly and deeply for 5 – 6 breaths.


Placing a block under your bottom hand could help provide better stability in this pose.

Half Moon Pose into Sugarcane Pose

If you are comfortable with your balancing half moon pose, it’s time to try Ardha Chandra Chapasana or the Sugarcane Pose. This asana is a powerful heart and hip opener that combines a half-moon pose with a backbend.


This balancing yoga pose will tone and stretch your hips, hamstrings and quadriceps while working on the muscles of your lower back. It also tones your abdominal muscles and improves your balance, flexibility and co-ordination. 

How to perform this vinyasa:

  1. From half moon pose, keep your left hand firmly planted on the floor and keep your right leg lifted in the air for a few breaths. Hold this position as you focus on your breath.
  1. Next, bend your right leg inwards and with your right hand, reach for the top of your right foot. If you can’t find your foot, bring your knee forward a little.
  1. When you are stable, try to pull your right foot inwards towards your body and upwards. This will deepen the posture and give you a deeper stretch. Keeping your gaze steady for better balance in the pose.
  1. Hold for 4 or 5 deep breaths before releasing back to the half moon pose. Slowly bring your foot back to the floor and perform it on the other side.

Caution! Practice these more difficult yoga balances with a spotter or against a wall. Always consult your doctor before starting a new fitness regimen. Enjoy!

Living to 100

Talking about longevity, my amazing mother in law turned 100 years this month. I credit her knowledge and application of healthy eating and exercise to her long life. She has a Masters degree in Holistic Health. Shirley says, it’s her kindness, good will and friendliness that gives her longevity. It all matters, body, mind and spirit.

Shirley is still walking on her own without a cane. She’s an incredible lady! We couldn’t have the big party we planned for her because of COVID-19 but we were grateful to be able to have big festive drive by and a small family celebration outside. Congratulations and happy birthday, Shirley!

Best in health, Linda

“Seek the Lord while He may be found; call on Him while He is near.” – Isaiah 55:6

The Shift

“I look for the good that is on its way.”


We are in a great season of change. This shift may be occurring faster than you are prepared for. There might also be some uneasiness or anxiety about how to receive these changes and reposition with grace and love. 


Become aware of old systems that are no longer useful; seek new strategies that help you move forward in love. Stay in tune and in trust of the universal expansion and faithfully adjust to God.

The world is in constant flux between worldly systems and spiritual systems. Every ‘system’ has a light and a shadow side. So even fighting for ‘right’ or ‘religious ideals’ can lead us down a path away from God and to self-destruction. Achieving a harmonious balance of opposites where we are neither forcing nor resisting, yes, that would be sublime.

“I look for the good that is on its way.”


In less than a week, we will need to accept and even greater shift. Yes, I am talking about the election. Be ready to accept the results with courage and hope, keeping in mind that God’s ways are not our ways. Change takes time and it’s coming.

“‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the LORD.” – Isaiah 55:8

Exercises for Sit-itis

Has Covid19 got you sitting more? As much as I try to get outside to exercise, not being able to go to work because of COVID19, has added more sitting in my life. And I’m not the only one; lack of activity has become such a problem that it has a name: Sit-itis Syndrome. Sitting too long can increase your risk for obesity, insulin resistance, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome. It can also shorten and tighten the hip flexors, particularly the iliopsoas. Instability in this area can result in posture misalignments and pain. It’s important to keep moving to combat the adverse health effects of “sit-itis”!

Doing Crescent Lunge is one way I combat the effects of “sit-itis”.

I find Crescent lunge to be a wonderful yoga pose to encourage movement in the hip flexors and to help alleviate hip pain and tightness. This yoga asana stretches the legs, groin, and hip flexors, while also opening the front torso, chest, and shoulders. It strengthens the legs, hips, and butt. Doing Crescent lunge will improve posture, mobility, balance and stability.

How to do High Crescent Lunge:

  1. Facing forward, place your right foot in front of the body, so your feet are 3 – 4 feet apart and come up onto the ball of the left foot.
  2. Stack the shoulders over the hips with the right knee at a 90 degree angle.
  3. Tighten and lengthen the back leg and keep the hips square.
  4. Reach both arms overhead. Take your gaze upwards to the thumbs and start to reach up and then back as you move into a backbend. 

It’s important to tuck your tailbone and gently press the hips forward in Anjaneyasana – Crescent lunge. Keep the belly button drawing in, and the legs firm. The back of your body from the fingers to the heal should form a crescent shape.

Gentle options: Hold on to a stable chair with one hand as you lunge. You also have the choice of placing your hands on the hips or you can use cactus arms instead of raising your arms overhead. Another alternative is, instead of doing the high lunge, you can do a low crescent lunge with your knee on the ground.

Crescent lunge is a spirited heart-opening pose that balances the sacral and root chakras. Its name comes from the Sanskrit words “anjaneya” (meaning “praise” or “salutation”) and “asana” (meaning “pose”). I could definitely feel the praise aspect of this pose as I practiced.


For healthy hip flexors, you will also want to strengthen the glutei. Bridge pose is a dynamic way to strengthen this area. In addition to holding this pose, try adding a resistance band just above the knees and pulse your knees outward, resisting the tension of the band, as you hold the pose. You can also add movement by doing repetitions of raising up into the pose and lowering down. Remember to keep your feet parallel and your knees over your heels. Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana) is a potent asana for the entire body.

Caution: working with the hip flexors is complicated. Talk with your personal trainer or physical therapist about how to best approach your particular needs.

Enjoy these joyful and energizing yoga poses.

Best in health, Linda

A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.”

– Proverbs 19:11

Yoga Inspiration With Crow Pose

Decades ago, I saw a Yogini who was in her 60’s doing Crow Pose. I was very inspired and also wanted to be able do Crow in my 60’s. Happily, I have reached my goal. This pose can seem daunting, especially for a senior. Yet, mastering this move is worthy of every Yogi’s bucket list.

Here I am in Crow Pose

Kakasana – Crow Pose 

How to do this arm balancing pose:

  1. From a squat position place your hands flat on the floor about shoulder’s distance apart and about a foot in front of your feet. 
  2. Bend your elbows straight back and come up onto the balls of your feet. Open your knees so that they line up with your upper arms.
  3. Place your knees on the backs of your upper arms bringing your weight forward into your hands, lifting your head.
  4. Come up onto your tiptoes, then lift one foot and then the other off the floor, bringing your feet toward your buttocks.
  5. The knees and shins will rest on the shelf of your upper arms. 
  6. Engage the inner thighs and core. Keep lifting the head.
  7. Focus on the feeling of the body lifting. Avoid sinking into the pose. 
  8. To come out, exhale and transfer your weight back until your feet come back to the floor. 


Crow Pose promotes inner focus and concentration. You must be present, in the moment and fully attending to what is taking place. Kakasana activates the Solar Plexus (Manipura) Chakra. It also has an impact on a person’s emotional state of mind. This pose invites you to accept your fears and can help you develop courage, so you can face different situations bravely.

Physically, Crow Pose is an amazing full body workout. It works your arm and core muscles, while strengthening your wrists, shoulders, upper back, and legs. Establishing balance, determination and control are also positive aspects of this pose.


You must be mentally prepared to perform Crow Pose. You may also need to do some extra strength training, especially for upper body and core. Practice all kinds of planks, Malasana (Garland Pose) and Chaturanga to train for the rigors Crow Pose. Since the chances of falling are high, pregnant women should not perform Kakasana. A mishap can lead to miscarriage. Consult your doctor. 

Keep Moving

Crow Pose isn’t for everybody. The important thing is to keep active and to cross train. It is especially important as we age, to exercise for at least 150 minutes per week for good health.

Best in health, Linda

Do not withhold your mercy from me, Lord; may your love and faithfulness always protect me. – Psalm 40:11

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Great Escapes

It always helps to exercise with a friend for long term fitness goals. Working out with, our furry friends count too. Sometimes I don’t know who is more excited to hit the trails, me or them.

Triunfo Trail

Triunfo trail at Triunfo Canyon park is a scenic hiking adventure with views of Westlake Village and the Conejo Valley. A sprinkling of Fiddlenecks greeted us near the trail head. A majestic, old oak tree provided a splendid backdrop.

The ancient oaks highlight the rolling hills of Westlake Village.

Red Maids added lively color to the fields along the trail.

My sister, Maria also joined us on this trek through nature. She kept the pace going, as I wanted to stop and take photos. The trails were lined with Fiesta flowers, Blue Witch, Blue Dick and some Shooting Stars. As we climbed higher we saw many clusters of Bush Sunflowers.

Sticky Monkey flowers hid amongst the sunflowers. The trail goes on for miles but we turned back after about 50 minutes.

It was a spectacular hike. the following week, the four of us explored an unnamed Conejo Open Space trail off Denver Springs in Westlake Village. This little known trail held spectacular vistas and wildflowers in early June.

Lake Eleanor Trail – Conejo Open Space, Westlake Village

It’s a perfect secluded spot for some nature therapy. Golden Yarrow was plentiful along the sides of the hills.

Blue Dick rose above the tall grasses.

I spotted a Pink Mariposa Lily.

It was so peaceful. Maria and I stoped to deeply breathe in the fresh clean air as we observed the rolling green hills through the Deer Weed.

The Denver Springs trail in the community of Three Springs is a wonderful place to view the sunset with sweeping views in all directions.

The reflection of the setting sun to the East overlooking the Westlake Reservoir and the same sunset to the West.

Such incredible beauty!

The COVID quarantine has reinforced, in my life, the importance of environmental stewardship. All of nature is truly a gift to be safeguarded.

It is with a heavy heart that I tell you about the loss of my fur baby and hiking buddy, Sammy. We covered lots of beautiful miles together. Sammy was a rescue and I made the last part of his life delightful.

RIP little Sammy. I’ll remember our wonderful adventures together.

With gratitude, Linda

“My mouth is filled with your praise,
declaring your splendor all day long.” – Psalm 71:8

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Working the Side Body – International Yoga Day

If you read my blog regularly, you’ll know I have been going on some amazing hikes. Hiking up and down hills is good exercise but it focuses predominately on the anterior and posterior muscles of the lower body. My side body was beginning to feel a little bit neglected. It’s important to maintain muscle balance, so in addition to my regular training, I added these two incredible side body moves to my routine: Side Lunge and One-Legged Side Plank Pose.

Side Lunge

Side lunge, (Skandasana) is a dynamic hip-opening pose that targets, the Adductors and Abductors, inner and outer thighs. This yoga pose also stretches and strengthens the hips, legs, Gluteus Maximus and helps build core strength. Lateral lunges are perfect for beginners because you can support your body with your hands on the mat to start and then gradually add the balance and strength aspect by lifting up.


  1. Start in a low forward lunge position with your right foot forward. Keep your fingertips on the mat and move both hands to the inside of your right foot on the floor.
  2. Rotate your right foot and leg to face front, keeping your knee bent. Your chest, shoulders, torso, and toes should all be pointing in the same direction.
  3. Turn your left toes forward, keeping your left leg extended and your hands on the floor.
  4. Settle your knee over your ankle and press through the outer edge of your left foot keeping your left leg fully extended. Sink your hips lower so your right thigh comes parallel to the floor.
  5. If you feel secure and you want to go deeper, release your hands from the floor, lifting them to the chest in prayer hands position and hold. Repeat on the left side. I am demonstrating the left side in the photo. 

Side Lunge Challenge

Flow from side to side staying as low as you can. Improvise arm movements in an impromptu yoga dance.

One-Legged Side Plank Pose

One-Legged Side Plan Pose, (Eka Pada Vasisthasana) is the trifecta of yoga/Pilates exercises! This one pose works on strength, stretch and balance at the same time. One-Legged Side Plank tones the entire body, particularly the Abductors, Gluteus Maximus, core, hips and shoulders.

To go into a leg extension from side plank, bend the knee of your top leg and place your foot in front of the thigh. Reach for the big toe with your first two fingers as you lift your leg. Try not to let your hips drop as the leg extends. You can modify this pose by starting in a forearm plank. 


Both these poses use muscles that aren’t usually active in those who sit for long periods. You will discover increased range of motion in the hips, better body stabilization and improved muscle endurance with continued practice.


Do not do these poses if you have a knee, hip, or spinal injury. Listen to your body and be kind to it. If you have any medical concerns, talk with your doctor before practicing yoga.


June 21, is International Yoga Day. Celebrate this day by honoring your body and practicing yoga. It is important to be able to support your own body weight and stay mobile, especially as we age. Our outward reflection can be a mirror of what is going on on the inside so do the inner work too, body, mind and spirit.

Have a joy filled day! 


Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” – Psalm 91: 1-2

© Copyright: All materials contained within this blog may not be used without written permission.