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Por Veronica Jacinto

Leí por ahí recientemente que Savasana era una de las poses de Yoga mas difíciles. Acertadamente no desde el punto de vista físico, pero porque es la pose con la que se cierra una practica de vinyasa, haciendo todo un reto en cuestión de mantener tu concentración. Con un sentimiento de cerrar la sesión tan cercano, es muy fácil que nuestros pensamientos sean penetrados de las cuatro esquinas de nuestro tapete y hacia el mundo externo, donde nuestras responsabilidades nos esperan. Yo nunca pensé en Savasana en esta luz, siempre lo había mirado como la máxima recompensa después de una sesión de flujo de una hora, balanceándome y contorneándome. ¡Era una de las poses mas “fáciles” de todas las poses! En los días que mi practica avanzo, comencé a notar simplemente que tan difícil es Savana… Hum, esto seria algo con lo cual tendría mucho mas observación y en lo cual trabajaría.

Hace unos días, tuve la oportunidad de ir a “flotar”. Para ser mas precisa, decidí checar el tratamiento Floatation en el Alchemy Spa Wellness Café, y es ahí donde puede experimentar la mas dulce Savasana (lejos de mi tapete claro) al momento. Maria, miembro del Alchemy Spa, me recibió en la recepción, cálida y amablemente, mientras me acompaño hacia el cuarto de tratamiento.   El espacio mínimamente decorado era simple, pero increíblemente relajante incluso cuando apenas entraba. Había un olor sutil a lavanda flotando en el aire y música tenue sonando en la periferia. Mis sentidos comenzaron lentamente a reconfortarse para una hora maravillosa. Ella me dio unas pocas instrucciones y justo antes de desaparecer, coloco el letrero “flotando”, en la parte exterior de la puerta.

Me quede mirando vagamente por un par de minutos al artefacto en forma de nave espacial en el cual estaba a punto de sumergirme. El agua estaba a la temperatura del cuerpo y como 500kg de sales de Epson me esperaban. Me dijeron que yo flotaría sin esfuerzo alguno, un regalo de los altos niveles de sodio, haciendo este tratamiento increíblemente purificante y relajante. Tan pronto como me sumergí en la tina, ahí me encontraba, casi sin peso, flotando con un estilo de dulce Savasana. Me pareció increíble la facilidad de conexión con mi respiración, tal vez los tapones en mis oídos facilitaron esto. Cualquier cosa que fuese, era delicioso. La ligera calor del agua, la quietud de mi respiración, flotando; todo fue increíblemente sereno y reconfortante. Mi mente se distancio solo mínimamente y cuando lo hizo, solo mire mis pensamientos para regresar a mi respiración. La hora que estuve ahí se paso rapidísimo, pero fue una hora hermosamente invertida y un tratamiento que planeo visitar nuevamente; después de todo, flotar ha sido mi mas dulce Savasana hasta el momento…

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Photo by Jessica Pantermuehl
Photo by Jessica Pantermuehl

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When I was offered the opportunity to attend the Santa Barbara Fermentation Festival and the subsequent Farm-To-Bar Happy Hour, I will admit, I anticipated that I might see many confused looks across the faces of the zymology elite as I meandered, inquired and sampled. I knew nothing of the art and science of fermentation prior to my experience at the festival but decided to trust my gut and see what there was to learn about the production and benefits of fermented food and drink. Upon arriving to the booming festival grounds, I soon found that I was in good company. Many of the vendors were happy to answer the most elementary questions about the process of fermentation and offered educational literature.

So, what is fermentation? Fermentation is the chemical breakdown of a substance by bacteria, yeasts, or other microorganisms. It is the metabolic process that converts starches or sugar to gases, acids and alcohol. The process preserves the foods and produces beneficial enzymes, b-vitamins, Omega-3 fatty acids and various strains of probiotics. In other words, fermentation is the process of converting organic foods into more digestible, simpler compounds.

One of the most impactful benefits of incorporating fermented food and drink into ones diet includes the introduction of probiotics. Probiotics are bacteria that may improve bowel health, immunity and aid digestion. Fermented foods are enzyme rich, which helps the body absorb and utilize the nutrients in your food. In addition, it increases the vitamin content in your body and helps preserve your food for longer periods of time!

Now, those are all very sound reasons for anyone to start introducing fermented goods into their diet but what I noticed among the boundless array of kombucha, jun, kimchi, sauerkraut and kefir was a crowd of genuinely open-minded, energetic and friendly people. That was what peeked my suspicion that maybe there is something to the art and science of fermentation that goes beyond the fashionable.

Karla, of Mountain Feed and Farm Supply, was one of the first festivalgoers I spoke with. She helped me find an insight into my first fermentation festival experience. When I asked her, why she chose to introduce fermented goods into her diet, she responded by saying, “Well that depends on what kind of fermented goods you are talking about. There are many reasons to eat fermented foods and there are many reasons to drink fermented beverages but they are not always the same.” This idea helped me understand that for many, the consumption of fermented food and drink provides them with a “broad spectrum of pleasure” that can be refined and honed by listening to ones gut. At one point, I heard a vendor at Kombucha Kamp say to a curious festivalgoer that it is important to “listen to your body. If your body responds more to jun than to kombucha, follow your gut.”

I came across this sentiment again at the Farm-To-Table Happy Hour when I met a man named Soma. I was sipping on a ridiculously delicious cocktail made with locally crafted vodka by Cutler’s Artisan Spirits, when Soma and I started to chat about the festival. I was curious as to what drew him to the practice of fermenting food and drink. Soma—who has been fermenting his own food and drink for 13 years—believes that there is “something magical about working with the environment” and that “there is an element of mystery and chance.” Discovering and harnessing the fermentation process has helped Soma reach an “awakening phase” where he could learn how to take care of his body by listening to it. In fermenting his food and drink, Soma felt that the practice of fermentation has helped him develop a “higher conscious state” about his health and the environment. His concern for the overall wellbeing of his community was another reason why he chose to attend the festival saying, “We need to get closer to our environment and get over bacteria phobia… we need to become stewards of bacteria.” While I heard many at the festival gush about the complex textures and flavors of fermented food and drink, I left with a new understanding that for many, the benefits of fermented food and drink come down to listening to your body and recognizing what makes it healthy and happy.

I intend on attending next years Santa Barbara Fermentation Festival when it returns. While I thoroughly enjoyed getting to wander about the grounds of Fairview Gardens and sample the fermented food and drink of local and regional experts, there was plenty more for me to do.

A few of the festival highlights include:

  • Pickled Pavilion, featuring fermentation experts speaking on a variety of topics.
  • Fermentation Station, where attendees can learn first-hand about how to make their favorite ferments, including water kefir, soda, sourdough starters, pickled tomatoes, and kimchi.
  • Dozens of fermented food and beverage artisans offering samples.
  • DIY pickle station.
  • Fermentation supplies, information and related resources
  • Culture Petting Zoo where children of all ages can “pet” and learn about their favorite starter cultures.

New to the festival this year was the incredible Farm-to-Bar Happy Hour, in which I sampled locally and regionally crafted mead, cider, feral brew, wines, spirits, jun, sake and more! The event also included, farm-to-table wood fired sourdough pizzas by The Lucky Penny to munch on. To add to the experience, industry experts gave brief lectures about their craft (if you’ve ever wondered about how to brew wildly fermented ales or what to look for in good bottle of sake, I would highly encourage you to attend).

I would recommend that anyone interested in engaging with their community and environment or anyone with an interest in trusting their gut and strengthening their health attend this festival. For more information about the Santa Barbara Fermentation Festival please visit: www.sbfermentationfestival.com.

Lole Yellow SessionsEl Sábado 31 de Mayo Lolë, la línea de ropa Canadiense identificada como “ropa activa audaz y hermosa para mujeres” será la anfitriona de una sesión completamente gratuita de ejercicio para la comunidad de Santa Barbara, Se espera que haya 500 participantes, el ejercicio será estructurado por un circuito de entrenamiento dirigido por la reconocida atleta profesional, Gabrielle Reese.

Lole Yellow Sessions

Este evento se realiza para apoyar el hospital de niños local. Puesto que el moto de Lolë es “Vive tu Vida a lo Máximo Todos los Días” Reece dirigirá a los invitados en una sesión energética, al aire libre, y con una sesión a la orilla del mar que conectara a los participantes con la comunidad de Santa Barbara. Lo tibio del sol, la briza ligera y los sonidos de las olas servirán para el perfecto ambiente de este evento en el histórico Chase Palm Park. Lolë impulsara la misión de la marca al proporcionar a la comunidad con la colección de donaciones de los invitados y acumulando patrocinios antes del evento que irán directamente al Fondo de Lolë para el Fondo de Niños del Hospital Cottage en Santa Barbara, 100% de los fondos recaudados a través de patrocinios del evento, donaciones que se hagan en el evento, y 35% de la venta de ropa estará designado para el Fondo de Niños del Hospital Cottage. Con todo computado la meta para la recaudación es de $10,000 dólares.

La entrada a este evento es completamente GRATIS. Solo registrese aquí: https://nightout.com/events/loleyellowsession/tickets

On Saturday, May 31st, beloved active wear brand Lolë, will host their annual summer large-scale, complimentary community workout session in Santa Barbara. 500 participants are expected to attend this event, creating a circuit training workout led by world renowned professional athlete, Gabrielle Reece to support the local children’s hospital. In keeping with Lolë’s “Live Out Loud Everyday” mission, Reece will lead the community in an energizing, outdoor, seaside workout session that will connect participants with the Santa Barbara community, the children’s hospital and one another. Warm sun, gentle breezes, and the soothing sounds of waveswill serve as the perfect backdrop to this historic Chase Palm Park event.  Lolë will further the brand mission ofgiving back to the community by collecting donations from attendees and accruing sponsorships prior to the event that will go directly to the Lolë Children’s Fund for Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital. 100% of the funds raised through sponsorship of the event, donations on site, and 35% of clothing sales will go to the Lolë Cottage Children’s Hospital Fund*. All told, the goal is to raise $10,000.

Attendance at the event is completely FREE. Sign up is at: https://nightout.com/events/loleyellowsession/tickets