Is really cold, snowy and mostly gray here in Chicago. California yogis have it easy. But here in the Freezing Snowy Windy City, finding the yoga in all of us takes a lot of work…and a warm yoga studio. Winter requires us to dig deep to find the sunny side in situations. Like my friend did when she decided the gray sky was actually a pretty color gray…a gray you might actually pick to paint your walls.

Following my friend’s positive lead, I looked on the bright side when setting my 2014 resolutions…by not setting any. Rather than make resolutions, which can chip away at your soul when year after year by February you’ve already disappointed yourself, I chose to focus on healing.

Healing, the act of getting better, comes from a place of joy. Healing what you ask? You have to go to yoga to find out. Perhaps heal your heart, heal your body, heal your mind, heal your relationships, heal your soul. In the post yoga bliss, sometimes you know and sometimes you can’t put your finger on it, but you know you just feel better. And the unmistakable warm, sunny, all-better feeling yoga cultivates inside can’t be snuffed out even as you step out into 15 inches of snow.

Out from hibernation, Omm is back! While away, I’ve spent the year continuing to follow my heart, and found a lightness and buoyancy that come from feeling balanced. Letting my heart be my guide, my journey led me to pursue my desire to become a health coach through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. I created my new Feal Real Wellness Journey (details below) to deepen my focus and to help guide perhaps you toward living a healthful life that feels authentic to you. Hope you’ll consider joining me on this journey!

Thanks to many of you who told me you missed Omm and encouraged me to write another one. Be sure to visit to check out the complete stories featured below, Ommapalooza, studio links, archives and more!

Wishing you all a happy, healthy and sunny 2014!


P.S. If you’re interested in learning more about nutrition or becoming a health coach, click here. Or feel free to email me at [email protected].


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Up! I’m very proud to be on the panel for the Ultimate Weight Loss Sucess Summit. Click here for my interview and learn the details of my Feal Real program, plus recieve my FREE gift…7 Steps to Feal Real – a Guided Meditation.


Super Bowl

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Visit for the recipe under grains!


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The New Year with a renewed connection to self, dedication to wellness, and intention for your life’s journey! Created and led by Pam Gross (me), Feal Real is a two-part transformative journey that applies yoga philosophy toward achieving whole-life wellness. Join me and learn how to feed your body, mind and soul to live a healthful life that feels authentic to you.

Workshop will include both discussion and yoga.
Attend both Part One and Part Two.
Pick the dates and location that work for you.

Part One (Attend one):
Saturday, 1/11, Reach Yoga, 1-3PM
Sunday, 1/12, Samadhi Yoga, 1-3PM

Part Two (Attend one):
Saturday, 1/25, Reach Yoga, 1-3PM
Sunday, 1/26, Samadhi Yoga, 1-3PM

$60. Pre-registration required.

Attending both sessions at Reach Yoga? Click here.
Attending both sessions at Samadhi Yoga? Click here.
If attending one at each studio, email me at [email protected]

Wear yoga clothes. No yoga experience required to experience the journey.

For more details, visit


Val with local phenom Andrew Belle circa 2010

Val with local phenom Andrew Belle circa 2010

Valslistradio app pronto! Any yoga teacher will tell you that finding great music and mixing it up to sync up with a sequence is no easy task. Well, fret no more! Local music guru Val Haller is the founder of and Valslistradio app, both designed to help busy adults, not just yoga teachers, keep up with new music. Both the site and the app contain hours of playlists hand-picked and curated by Val herself.

Think of as the music vault with free downloads, links to her NY Times blog and concert news. And think of the Valslistradio app as your go-to source for frequently updated, endless playlists on-the-go with options to buy the songs or share them with a friend. So, friend, what are you waiting for? Jump on the Valslist bandwagon and get jiggy with it!



Your dog. The reason why down dog is considered “home base” in yoga goes back to the original intention for the pose: to reap the same sensations you feel from loving your four-legged friend. Anyone who’s ever loved a dog knows that burying your face in his furry neck and kissing him profusely immediately draws you into the present moment, creates a respite from the stresses of life, releases a surge of endorphins and leaves you with the joy of unconditional love. So it was no surprise to those who know dog lover Pam Kasper that she dedicated 260 hours of study, observation and casework to become a Certified Canine Massage Therapist to give back to these awesome animals.

“Dogs can receive the same benefits of massage just like us,” says Pam. As in humans, the power of bodywork can reduce stress, relieve muscle and joint pain, boost immune system, increase circulation, and release toxins in dogs too.  Puppies, rescues, athletic, arthritic, anxious, and recuperating dogs, as well as dogs who are just deeply loved, are great candidates for canine massage.

I’ve personally seen Pam in action when she came to my house to massage my rescue Vince, a.k.a. a kangaroo in disguise. Pam’s peaceful and gentle energy calmed him (and me) right down, and the healthy snacks she left him were another nice touch.

To learn more, click here. To schedule to an appointment with Pam for you pooch, call 847-208-0999.



Your Indo Board for Intro to Balance Core Yoga at Samadhi Yoga, February 1 and 9, at 1:30-2:30PM. 

The Balance Core Yoga class was developed by local Indo Board Fitness Ambassador Mary Lou Cerami. As a yoga instructor both on the mat and on a Standup Paddleboard (SUP), Mary Lou says she created the class due to the amazing benefits she’s seen in anyone trying out SUP Yoga. “It’s my way of taking the same concept, basically unstable yoga – and bring it indoors.” By incorporating balance and yoga poses on the Indo Board, you can expect to improve endurance, develop balance skills and utilize over 85% of the muscles in the body.

Indo boards will be provided for use during the class. Just bring yourself, comfortable clothes and a positive attitude!

Class size is very limited. Click here or call 847-730-3677 for more information and to reserve your board.



For your life. Eat to live. Both thoughts are supported in today’s ever-popular Paleo hunter-gatherer dietary theory. While eating game and grass-fed meats, fish, veggies, eggs, limited nuts and wild fruits like a caveman has become mainstream, exercising like one is just taking shape.

Considered “functional exercise,” each caveman task developed a strong core, reduced belly fat, created strong legs and elongated the spine. Be it spear throwing (twists), chopping (forward folding), carrying a kill (high lunge), picking up boulders (squatting aka malasana) or even running for your life (interval training or sun salutations), yoga incorporates all these actions. So whether you say “Ooorgh” or “Omm,” tap into your inner caveman and hit the mat!



Your imagination. I’ve heard of some crazy things like poaching salmon in the dishwasher (seriously), but now there’s a fork that measures your bites. This electronic fork, called the HAPIfork, measures your “fork servings,” otherwise known as the action of bringing your fork from your plate to your mouth. At the end of the meal, you can log on to your mobile app and find out…

  • How long it took to eat your meal
  • The amount of “fork servings” taken per minute
  • Intervals between “fork servings”

Designed to slow down your eating habits to aid in digestion and weight loss, the HAPIfork lights up and vibrates if you’re eating too fast.

Some studies show that you need to chew your food 100 times before swallowing in order to create the digestive enzymes required to properly digest your food. WTF (what the fork)! This will for sure slow down your meal, but it’s nearly impossible. I’ve tried.

Either way…hapi eating, I guess!


To yoga school! Whether you want to become a yoga teacher or not, yoga teacher training is a life-changing experience that expands your thinking, cultivates a deep connection to Self, shifts your life’s journey, allows you to connect to like-minded people, and builds lasting relationships. offers links to Chicago’s best yoga studios offering a variety of teacher trainining programs, many beginning soon.

Here are some tips to help you find the right program for you.

  • Ask your favorite teacher where she was certified and if she has any recommendations.
  • Find a studio that you want to call home – you’ll be there a lot.
  • Study the curriculum to make sure your topics of interest are covered.
  • Talk to people who’ve been certified from the program of interest.
  • Attend an info session with the faculty.
  • Carve out the time in your life – not giving teaching training your full attention will deny you the full experience.
Click the studio links on the right side bar to start exploring what the studios offer. Your journey begins with the first click! Enjoy the ride!



Orange. Two of my favorite winter snacks just happen to be that healthy color…carrot ginger soup and baked sweet potato. Lucky for me both are easy to prepare, can be made ahead of time, have powerful antioxidants and warming effects, and contain hefty amounts of cancer fighting carotenoids, a phytonutrient (plant nutrient) that gives red, yellow, orange and some dark leafy plants their color.

Tip: add cinnamon to baked sweet potato for added warming effects.

Carrot Ginger Soup…
One bunch organic carrots, washed peeled and chopped
1/2 cup onion
1 tbl grapeseed oil (yes, it will be green)
1 tbl butter (yes, small amounts of this saturated fat is OK. Find a farm-fresh, hand-rolled variety.)
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tbl organic finely chopped ginger
3/4 carton organic, low-sodium veggie or chicken broth

Heat oil. Add carrots, onion and butter. Saute until onions are soft. Mix in salt and ginger. Add broth until veggies are covered. Lightly boil until carrots are soft. Add to Vitamix or blender. Add more veggie broth and blend. Keep adding broth until consistency is more liquid. Store and reheat one cup at a time for snack.


For real. If the goal of this “Face Yoga” video was to make my face hurt, then mission accomplished.



Yes in 2104. This year, when someone extends an invite to you, don’t waffle – say “yes.” Then mark the date in permanent ink in your new Mamasana calendar. The newest offering in the Mamasana line of products that help all mamas find the yoga in their lives, the 2014 wall calender delivers 12 months of hilarious mamasanas created by local yogis Lori Sander and Patti Ray. Mamasana donates a portion of their proceeds to local charities. Carpe diem and click to purchase.


The difference between sympathy and empathy. Another insightful offering from Dr. Brené Brown, this video short has the power to turn any good friend into a great friend.

Practicing Yoga
On...and Off...My Mat™






On Workshops, Retreats, Festivals, Summits...


On Local Studios...


If you can start the day without caffeine,

If you can always be cheerful, ignoring aches and pain,

If you can resist complaining and boring people with your troubles,

If you can eat the same food everyday and be grateful for it,

If you can understand when your loved ones are too busy to give you any time,

If you can take criticism and blame without resentment,

If you can conquer tension without medical help,

If you can relax without alcohol,

If you can sleep without the aid of drugs,

...then you are probably

the Family Dog!



Elation by Isbells

Chemicals Collide
by Cloud Cult

Moving in Time
by Soft Reeds

I Can See My House from Here
by The Glands
(Thanks Valslist Radio App)

Shot At the Night
by The Killers

Head On
by Man Man

Love Away
by Capital Cities

Alright You Restless
by AgesandAges

Durga II
by Generationals

by Andrew Belle

Feel It All
by KT Tunstall

Circle Same
by Anders Parker

Line of Fire
by Junip

Living Proof
by Cat Power

Skinny Love
by Bon Iver (Thanks Jeff!)

Future Days
by Pearl Jam

Along In the Sun
by Tyler Ramsey