All posts by Eliza Darling

Island yogi

Rest in Love and Peace BKS Iyengar

This week an incredibly instrumental and inspirational guruji in the yoga community transcended this world for another. Through his words, his teachings, and our yoga practice, the spirit of BKS Iyengar will live on forever.


The light that yoga sheds on life is something special. It is transformative. It does not just change the way we see things; it transforms the person who sees. – BKS Iyengar

Perfectly PiYo for Summer Challenge

I am excited to host my first 30-60 day Perfectly PiYo for Summer Challenge beginning on July 7.  PiYo uses low-impact (no shoes!), high intensity movements inspired by pilates and yoga-asana, set to a fast pace to get the heart pumping and the calories burning. This revolutionary fitness style works to stabilize, strengthen, and stretch your physique, sculpting longer and leaner muscles. To keep the group personal and intimate I am only accepting 20 people into this challenge. Learn more about the challenge and reserve your spot by sending me a message, or you can click here to enroll now.


Chocolate covered blueberries (or cherries)

This is for all you chocolate lovers who want to treat yourself with guilt free morsels of goodness. I present to you my favorite sweet treat, chocolate covered blueberries. These are not your typical store bought, packed with preservatives, sugar-loaded blueberries. These delicious little nuggets burst will natural blueberry flavor and satisfy any chocolate cravings without inundating your taste buds with sweetness. You will be pleased to know that they have only 4 ingredients and no added sweeteners.

chocolate blueberries
Organic frozen blueberries (or cherries)
Organic coconut oil
Organic dark cocoa

***You can sweeten the chocolate with maple syrup or honey, but I find that the berries are a perfect natural sweetener***

Mix equal parts coconut oil and cocoa and add a healthy dash of cinnamon, stir until well mixed.
Pour blueberries into a bowl and drizzle a tsp of chocolate at a time over them, stirring constantly. The chocolate hardens almost immediately so stir as soon as you pour the chocolate. Keep drizzling and stirring until all of the berries are completely coated.

I usually make a small jar of the chocolate and keep it in the pantry for when I have a craving for these. Make sure not to store somewhere cold or it will harden.


“TRUTH: Experiencing our lives with our physical eyes closed and our minds wide open.”


Too often we go through our lives relying on what see and what we hear, but not on how we feel. We allow our perception of reality to be shaped by what we’ve been told rather than by what we experience. We deny ourselves the opportunity to truly see because our sight has been blurred by preconceived notions of what is real. Close your eyes, feel your heart, and without judgement or doubt outline the pattern of your thoughts. Let intuition guide you, tap into your wealth of knowledge (it’s in there!), and silently observe. Listen, to find your TRUTH.

Mint Chocolate Chip Shake

i am cool

This mint chocolate chip shake is inspired by Cafe Gratitude’s “I Am Cool” shake. While in Oakland last month, my sister-in-law took me to get one, and I knew then it would be a recipe I had to recreate. It was just too good not to and a total throwback to my pre-vegan days when I could easily and singlehandedly eat a carton of mint chocolate chip ice cream . This one is a spinoff from the ingredients used in the CG original, but it’s still vegan, easy to make, with minty chocolate-y deliciousness.



  • I large frozen banana
  • 1/3 can coconut milk
  • 1 C almond milk
  • 3-4 TBS chia seeds
  • Several sprigs fresh mint (add to achieve desired minty-ness)
  • Pinch of himalayan sea salt
  • Ice cubes
  • Raw cacao nibs

Combine all ingredients except for the cacao nibs in a high speed blender and blend until desired consistency is reach. Add cacao nibs and blend for a few seconds longer.

*I usually don’t follow recipes, so play around with the ingredient amounts until you’ve reached a flavor that works for you*



Look to this day:
For it is life, the very life of life.
In its brief course
Lie all the verities and realities of your existence.
The bliss of growth,
The glory of action,
The splendour of achievement
Are but experiences of time.

For yesterday is but a dream
And tomorrow is only a vision;
And today well-lived, makes
Yesterday a dream of happiness
And every tomorrow a vision of hope.
Look well therefore to this day;
Such is the salutation to the ever-new dawn!

~KālidāsaThe complete works of Kalidasa

Advanced Poses and Social Media

“The Study of asana is not about mastering the posture. It’s about using the posture to understand and transform yourself.” ~ #Gary Kraftsow


Although I mostly post pictures of advanced postures, handstands namely and especially recently while participating in #handstandlove, my yoga practice did not begin where it is now. Yoga is a journey that can take you to many places with a proper practice and much discipline. My journey to balancing on my hands has taken me many years, guided instructions, and falls to achieve. I realize now that my posts could be misleading and even dangerous, the poses could be mistaken as the ultimate goal in an asana practice. As a yoga instructor, my passion for teaching and practicing is equal, and my intention is not to misrepresent yoga to anyone.

Yoga begins and continues with so much more than the ability to stand upside down. Yoga is the unity between the body, mind, and breath. It connects us to our inner and outer strength, helps us to be mindful on and off of our mats, and prepares us to respond rather than react to situations in our lives. As our asanas (physical poses) begin to strengthen with correct form and alignment, we can make the decision to try something new and possibly advanced. Or we can to continue to strengthen where we are now.

On Instagram and other social media outlets there’s a plethora of yogis posing in beautiful asanas and it’s easy to want to try to make these poses happen in our own bodies too. And while being inspired is great, attempting to recreate before your practice or your body is ready, can be dangerous. It’s also easy to see the picture without seeing the falls and retakes that go into getting just the right shot or angle. Trust me, there are MANY!

To avoid injury, it is essential to practice beginner and intermediate poses first, before even attempting advanced asanas. Work first on getting your alignment on point and gaining the strength that is pertinent to holding such poses (ie. if you are still struggling in your chatturanga, it’s probably not a good idea to kick up to handstand). The yoga practice is always going to be there, why rush from point A to point Z without visiting all the other letters along the way? Life is long and so to is the journey of yoga. Savor each moment and try to find just as much fulfillment and satisfaction in child’s pose as you do in the advanced poses.

Don’t get me wrong, I love being upside down and I feel really good while balancing on my hands. But holding a handstand is not the source of my joy, it does not define who I am, it does not measure my practice or my passion to teach, and it does not reflect all of my dreams or accomplishments.

I hope my pictures inspire you to commit to and further your practice, or to give yoga a try if you haven’t yet. I hope that they can make you smile. I hope you can realize that a picture is just a picture, and that it doesn’t represent the entire spectrum of my life or the years that have been dedicated to my yoga practice.

Curried Lentil, Squash, and Apple Stew

Curried Lentil, Squash, and Apple Stew

From Chloe’s Kitchen



Infused with curry spices and chock full of wilted spinach, butternut squash, and sweet chunks of apple, this unique lentil stew is fragrant and flavorful beyond belief.

2 TBLS olive oil (or coconut oil)

1 onion, diced

1 carrot, peeled and diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1TSP grated fresh ginger

1.5 TSP sea salt

1/5 C dried lentils

2.5 C vegetable broth

3 C peeled butternut squash (or sweet potato), 1/2″ cubes

1 large unpeeled apple, diced

5 oz baby spinach

In a large pot, heat oil over medium-high heat, and saute` onions and carrots until almost soft. Add garlic, ginger, curry, and salt, and let cook a few more minutes until fragrant. Stir in lentils, broth, and tomato paste. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for 25 minutes. Add squash and apples, cover, and simmer for another 25 minutes, or until vegetables and lentils are tender. Uncover and stir in spinach until wilted. Add salt to taste and serve.


When we let our minds rely on expectation rather than observation, we aren’t allowing ourselves to be truly present. Instead of anticipating things to come, marvel at what’s happening all around. Notice the clouds as they lazily drift by, changing in shape and volume. Notice the sky and how it transforms into different colors; vibrant blue, and pastel pink, and mango peel orange, and heavy grey, and thick black. Feel the wind whip through your hair and across your skin. Let the rain fall on your face, chin tilted up and mouth open, taste the raindrops upon your tongue. Feel the golden light of the sun as it blankets your body in warmth.


Allow your heart dance with love…and let your tears fall with pain. Be generous with your smile and offer your arms to someone who needs to be touched. The smallest gestures can often leave a greatest impact. Genuinely connect with people. Though we may look different from each other, speak different languages, worship different gods, live by different beliefs and standards, we are all humans and together we are navigating the same earth. We are linked to one another by our desire to have the best possible life we can live, yet create a disconnect  through our expectation that our hopes and dreams are intrinsically individual. In this vast galaxy we are all so tiny yet undeniably complex. Our thoughts, emotions, relationships, and physical beings are intricately laced together.


Create space and time to find quiet stillness. Observe what is happening…now.  In this moment witness the world around you and the love within your heart. As expectations of what may or may not ever be begin to fade, as compassion grows and connections strengthen, a peaceful presence will emerge. Let go of expectation. Observe, and let it go….