See You in a Month!

It’s finally here! Tomorrow I will be leaving for the month-long Jivamukti Yoga teacher training!

If you haven’t already heard the news (and sent me multiple “sad-face” messages), Cookie Devi will be on hiatus while I am away. But I will be back at the end of May, and have some new cookie ideas in mind!

I am also taking a technology vacation, so there will be no new blog posts or FB messages while I am away, but I’ll be keeping a journal and will definitely provide an update upon my return.

Thank you to everyone for all of your support, whether it was helping with my fundraising efforts, or supporting my businesses. I look forward to sharing my new adventure with you when I get back.

Love and Om,


Categories: Cookies, Cooking, Fundraising, Gluten Free, Yoga | Leave a comment

The Power of Om


“It is also called nadam because it is the supreme music present everywhere eternally…The entire universe is penetrated by this supreme music. In an individual it is manifested as a ringing sound in one’s head. By meditating on it, yogins feel increase in intensity and volume and ultimately they realize that the entire universe is vibrating in nadam.” (Jivamukti FoM, June 2000)

Om (pronounced AHH-OOO-MMM), when chanted, vibrates throughout your body, starting in your abdomen, moving through your heart, and then finally into your skull. Om was the first sound that was, when the world was created, and it resonates in all that surrounds us. It is universal. It is boundless joy. We are “om.”

In the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, it is referred to as pranava, ever renewing, and each time it is said, you are renewed, “brought into alignment again.” When you chant om, you are connected to everything and anything that is part of this earth.

This past weekend, a fundraiser was held at Jivamukti to raise money to help send me to teacher training in April. The Jivamukti teacher training costs a small fortune, and although I’d received a partial scholarship already, I still need to come up with the rest of the money somehow.  I was nervous about how the class would go, and even a bit embarrassed that it was for me. After planning the event for 4 months, I wanted to run and hide. Why should all these people care about sending me to teacher training? What makes me so special?

More and more people kept piling into the room, totaling about 50. And as we started to om, I felt something move inside me. A resonating sound that filled my body with joy, and almost made me a bit teary-eyed. Not because they were all there for me. They weren’t there for me. All these people were in the room because of their love of yoga. They were not there for the amazing teachers, the live music. They were in the room because of the sound of om. And I know they all felt it also. There was definitely a tingly vibration moving throughout the room, that got bigger and better with each round we chanted. And then I knew it was ok for me to be in the room. Because I am “om.”

If you’d like to learn more about my fundraising efforts, or just read more about everything I’ve been doing to prepare myself for TT, you can do so here I might even post a video of me chanting sutras while baking one day 😉

Categories: Fundraising, om, Yoga | 1 Comment

Vive La France!

For January’s food swap, we have a French theme – recreating a french dish in a veg friendly way. My category was vegetables, and while I thought I was going to have a difficult time coming up with a dish and cookie for 8 with all this cookie madness I have going on, I found a quick and simple, yet super yummy dish in my new favorite cookbook, Vegan Eats World.

So without further ado…

Red Wine Braised Leeks and Mushrooms Red Wine Braised Leeks and Mushrooms

1 pound leeks

10 oz cremini mushrooms, brushed clean and tough ends of stems cut off

3 tbsp olive oil

2 cups dry red wine

1 tsp dried marjoram

1/2 tsp salt, plus additional for sprinkling

4 sprigs fresh thyme, or 1/2 tsp dried

2 tbsp vegan margarine

a few twists of freshly ground pepper

1. Trip away most of the green stalks on the leeks, leaving about an inch near the white part.Slice away the tip of the root end, and slice each leek in half lengthwise. Slice again into sections about 2 1/2 inches long.

2. Slice the mushrooms into quarters. Over medium-high heat, sear the mushrooms in 1 tbsp of olive oil. Fry the mushrooms, stirring occasionally, until both sides are browned and mushrooms look juicy, about 4 minutes. Remove from pan and transfer to an oven-proof dish. Sprinkle the mushrooms with a pinch of sea salt, cover with foil, and put in oven set t 250 to keep warm.

3. Heat the remaining olive oil and brown the leeks for 2-3 minutes, Pour in the wine, sprinkle with marjoram and salt, and tuck the thyme sprigs in to the wine. Increase the heat and bring the wine to an active simmer and cover the pan. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.

3. Uncover the pan, and using tongs, carefully lift the leeks and arrange on top of the mushrooms. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the juices in the pan to a rapid simmer for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to low and swirl the margarine in to the juices. Use a wire whisk to continuously stir the sauce until smooth and lightly thickened. Drizzle a bit of sauce over each serving of leeks and mushrooms and serve immediately.

Categories: Cooking, Fundraising, Recipes | Leave a comment

Reward levels for donations have been added!

Thank you so much to those of you who have already shown a tremendous support in sending me to Jivamukti Yoga’s teacher training! I am feeling the love from all over the world!

To show my gratitude, reward levels for donations have been added (previously made donations will be honored.)

About 10 months ago, I started learning how to read and write Sanskrit, and really took to it. I am at the point where I can pretty much read and write it fluently, and find it quite addicting. I write about 2-3 of the Yoga Sutras a day, and am currently trying to memorize the first chapter…

For a $50 donation, I will send you a hand drawn postcard with your name or word of your choice written in Sanskrit, with a fun colorful design ( a sample is below, although my Sanskrit handwriting has improved since I drew this 😉 Check out the other reward levels too.


Categories: Fundraising, Sanskrit, Yoga | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

This is happening next Saturday, December 8th! Join us!

april dechagas


Join two of my favorite teachers, Monja Mani & Tamar Samir  for this special event at Jivamukti Yoga School , taking place on Saturday, December 8th, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m., to support women’s higher education in India. Suggested donation is $25.  All levels are welcome.

In addition to what will definitely amount to an amazing yoga class, I will be providing some yummy vegan baked goods for the event! You don’t want to miss it!

About NIA – It all started over 10 years ago with a small, but timely donation that enabled one girl to realize her dreams through education. Her empowerment and success motivated Arun Mani, NIA’s founder and president, to continue this cycle of generosity. At the moment, NIA supports roughly 50-60 girls each year with their higher education in India. NIA believes that the best way to empower a young girl without means…

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Categories: Cooking, Fundraising, Vegan, Yoga | Tags: | Leave a comment

Help Send Me to Jivamukti’s Yoga Teacher Training!

For those of you who know me, you know I eat, sleep, dream and live Jivamukti Yoga, and have been talking about going to their teacher training for the last 2 years (I am not kidding about this – I work in the Jiva cafe 5 days a week, so I eat their food pretty often, I practice there every day, and have taken a nap there once or twice)…

…For those of you who do not know me, here is a little snippet. Yoga found me about 4 1/2 years ago, and changed my world. More importantly, Jivamukti Yoga changed my world. It changed the way I live, the way I treat people and animals, the way I eat, the way I treat our Mother Earth, my outlook on life…it made me a more mature, responsible, happy person. And I want to share that joy with the world!


In addition to wanting to become a Jivamukti yoga teacher, after 7 years working in the corporate world, I went back to school to become school counselor and completed my Masters in School Counseling at NYU. While interning at a high school in Manhattan a few years ago, I found myself teaching yoga as a gym alternative, which has led to my current dream of combining yoga and my school counseling background and bringing it to schools, focusing mostly on low-income youth.


Ok, so the point of me telling you all this: The Jivamukti Teacher Training is a 1-month intensive that takes place at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, NY.  It is considered the “Harvard” of yoga teacher trainings, and I have been working towards it for the last few years. This is not just some “thing” that I want to do. I have already learned how to read and write sanskrit, I’ve written papers and dharma talks, learned some adjustments, learned anatomy – this is the real deal. The only problem is the training is kind of expensive. The kind of expensive that is hard to obtain without help.


So, there are two ways you can help…


1. Attend the fundraising event being held in my honor at Jivamukti Yoga School on Sunday, January 27th, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. (Yes this is 2 months away, but I know you all have extremely busy social lives, so save the date!) The fun-filled evening will include a 2-hour yoga class taught by Tamar Samir and Jeffrey Villanueva, live music by Matt Lombardo and Christian Montegut (also amazing Jiva teachers who have amazing magical musical powers!), a raffle with great prizes, yummy food and more!


2. Go to my GoFundMe page and make a donation.


What your donation will go towards:

  •  tuition

  • room & board

  • travel

  • books & materials

  • apprenticeship with an Advanced Certified Teacher after I complete the training

  • keeping my apartment afloat while I am away


What is GoFundMe?

Launched on May 10, 2010, GoFundMe is a do-it-yourself online fundraising service that has helped thousands of people raise millions of dollars in online donations for the fundraising ideas that matter to them most. GoFundMe allows regular people to accomplish extraordinary things with easy-to-use personal donation websites. From exciting life events like weddings & graduations to challenging circumstances like accidents & illnesses, the GoFundMe fundraising software remains one of the best ways to raise money online.


About Jivamukti Yoga:

The Jivamukti Yoga practice incorporates the physical, psychological, spiritual, and mystical aspects of yoga into modern life, without losing sight of the universal goal of the practice: liberation. Because of Jivamukti Yoga’s focus on a non-dualistic view of life (the interconnectedness of all), the practice awakens in the practitioner not only the need to protect the environment and all the animals and plants, but provides the practitioner with the skills to confidently achieve those goals for oneself as well as teach others how to live in harmony with the planet.
Categories: Fundraising, Rockaway, Yoga | Leave a comment

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