Tasty Tuesday – Vata Bars


When I was working in global Advertising in New York City, I never seemed to have any time for anything other than meeting and putting out fires. When it came to lunch, I seldom had more than 10 minutes to wrap up my meeting with my team in London before getting on a call with my team in Sao Paulo. I would reach for convenient packed foods – usually a Clif bar and a bottle of water.

Of course, it only got worse when I traveled internationally. Being between time zones and still have to manage a team globally started playing havoc with my health.

For a fleeting moment, I wished that somebody could come up with a convenient packaged food which contained ACTUAL nutrition, instead of mostly sugars and “natural” ingredients.

To cut a long story short, when I came up with the idea for the VedaBars, I wanted at least one of the bars to have real vegetables in them. After all, Vegetables not only contained ACTUAL nutritional value, but would taste great in a formula I developed. I also found out that there were no other products on the market place that offered vegetables in their list of ingredients. The VedaBars are unique, but the VataBar is extra special.

In Ayurveda, Vata is considered scattered, anxious and ungrounded when out of balance. This is because of its dry, light and mobile nature. So if you’re eating dry and light foods, the Vata imbalance gets harder to deal with. Ayurvedic wisdom suggests eating grounding foods, like root vegetables, and foods which have been well oiled with oils like ghee and olive oil

The VataBar is made out of beets, yams, oats, almonds, ghee and maple syrup and nothing else. We will be selling the VedaBars at Tone again soon, but I’d like to dedicate this Tasty Tuesday to my idea of VedaBars – the first Ayurvedic Wholefood bar.

June is busting out all over!


We are very excited about our action packed start of summer.  We begin with Monica’s passion – yoga and Patanjali’s Sutras.  These pithy aphorisms (or concise statements) provoke philosophical discussions and lead us to the depth of yoga.  Monica has been studying the sutras with her teacher for years and is so inspired to share.

June is also grads and Dads month.  For grads, we have the $95 a month for unlimited classes Student Special.  If you take 3 classes a week that’s only $7 a class!  And have we got the class for those grads to try – Capoeira – a Brazilian martial art form that incorporates movement, music, culture and language.  Please join our Facebook fan page to see a video of our amazing Professora in action!  As for Dad, we’re going with donuts.  Heehee.  And we’re talking the Saturday before Dad’s day so that he can try Pilates for free (and even sign up for a week for free) just not actually ON the big day.

We then move to salute the sun.  For Clare’s third year, she will be leading the Summer Solstice Eve celebration and she is ready to bring the heat, pound the drums and celebrate the longest day of the year.  Monica honors the day of with the chanting of 108 Gayatri Mantras – an entrancing start to the summer.

The transition between the seasons can be challenging for our physiology, specifically with our digestive and immune systems.  Deacon will be guiding us in a 4 day summer cleanse to help us recalibrate for the summer season.

We close the month with our wonderful Friends Week.  Encore members can bring a friend to Tone for a week for free.  We love the energy, introductions and love that surrounds this week.

But wait, there’s more.  Here is the complete list of class changes – fresh ideas, beloved teachers returning or beginning a new adventure and time changes.  We hope to see you in the studio soon.

June Class Schedule Changes:


NEW – 12:10pm Lunchtime Yoga with Loni

5:05pm Equipment Circuit class is cancelled

Maitane is back to her 6:10pm Zumba class!


12:10pm Lunchtime Yoga with Heidi now lasts the full hour going to 1:10pm

6:10pm Ayurveda Chat has moved to 5:10 and is now Ayurveda Level 1 – learning the basics


12:10pm Lunchtime Yoga with Monica now lasts the full hour going to 1:10pm

NEW – 4:00pm Capoeira for Kids ages 8 to 12pm with Professora Sarara

NEW – 5:00pm Capoeira for Teens and Adults with Professora Sarara


5:10pm DEVbody is now Cardio Toning with Sonya McVay.  We wish Deb Devenchenzi all the best in her next adventure!


6:45am Yoga with Clare now starts at 7:10am.  New focus:  Sun Salutation Flow

NEW – 4:00pm Capoeira for Kids ages 8 to 12pm with Professora Sarara

NEW – 5:00pm Capoeira for Teens and Adults with Professora Sarara

5:05pm Equipment Circuit class is cancelled


8:10am Easy Flow Yoga will be taught by Nancy Codding


No changes

Tasty Tuesday Ginger Snaps


Every Tuesday, Deacon Carpenter – our resident Ayurvedist – shares an easy to make recipe.  Come by to taste the goodness.  Here is this week’s recipe:

Trippple Threat Ginger Cookies

¾ cup Ghee (clarified butter)
¾ cup brown sugar
½ cup molasses
1 egg
3 tbs fresh grated ginger
½ cup chopped crystallized ginger
2 ¼ cups oat flour (you can use regular or gluten-free All Purpose Flour)
4 tsp. ground dried ginger
2 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt

1.  Beat the ghee and brown sugar together until creamy

2.  Add the molasses and egg.  Beat well to combine.

3.  Add the grated and crystallized gingers.

4.  In another bowl, mix together the flour, ground ginger, baking soda and salt.

5.  Add the flour mixture to the wet mixture.  Stir with a wooden spoon until blended.

6.  Cover the dough and refrigerate for at least one hour.

7.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease a cookie sheet.

8.  Shape the dough into 1-inch balls by rolling a small amount between your palms.  Place them on the cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.  Pat the balls down slightly.

9.  Bake for about 10 minutes, or until the cookies have flattened out and started to crinkle on the surface (think classic ginger snaps).

10.  Enjoy them fresh out of the oven!

Yield:  About 2 dozen

Health Benefits:

When I was a kid, ginger always reminded me of my Grandmother’s cooking.  It was one of her favorite spices because she used it mostly at Christmas time, which was her favorite time of year.  When I would bake with her, she would always let me open the packet of powdered ginger and would always have a handkerchief at the ready because I would invariably open the packet too quickly and cause myself to sneeze!

In Ayurveda, ginger is used almost ubiquitously as a digestive stimulant, pain killer, anti-inflammatory and anti-nausea.  It’s also been used to reduce headaches.  I use fresh ginger root every morning in hot water which help get my digestion going.  These triple threat ginger snaps contain powdered, fresh and crystallized ginger.  They are spicy and not overly sweet.

Ayurveda Events at Tone this week:

Crunchy Coconut Macaroons!


Every Tuesday, Deacon Carpenter – our resident Ayurvedist – shares an easy to make recipe.  Come by to taste the goodness.  Here is this week’s recipe:

Crunchy Coconut Macaroons
2 egg whites
1/2 cup date sugar or cane sugar
1 cup chopped dates (optional)
¼ cup dried unsweetened, unsulphured papaya, finely chopped
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup toasted cashews (optional)
2 cups unsweetened flaked coconut
Toasted sesame seeds

Preheat oven to 300 degrees

Beat egg whites until they peak.  Fold sugar gently into egg whites.  Fold in dates, papaya, vanilla, cashews and coconut.

Spoon onto a non-stick or well oiled cookie sheet and garnish with toasted sesame seeds.

Bake for 12 – 15 minutes

Health Benefits:

This is one of my favorite Ayurvedic recipes .  They are gluten free and call for one of my most favorite ingredients – coconut!

Coconut is one of the best foods in Ayurveda to pacify the Pitta dosha.  People who have a predominantly Pitta dosha tend to run warmer and need to consume more water than those who have a predominance of another dosha.  The summer season is also known as Pitta season, so it’s a good idea to be more mindful of the heat.

Coconut water contains many natural electrolytes, like potassium, which help with absorption and preventing muscle cramps.  Coconut also has a natural cooling action, which is great to prevent any Pitta imbalances. Coconut can also help to remove toxins, help balance stress hormones and can bring luster to the skin.

Sesame seeds are great for balancing the menstrual cycle and are an iron-rich food.  Papaya is also an anti-toxin and can help to cleanse the liver and cashews can aid in digestion.


Ayurveda Events at Tone this week:

Tuesdays @ 6:10pm – Ayurveda Chat – Ayurveda and Rheumatoid Arthritis Part 1 – How the pathology of RA begins in the body.


May Class Changes

On the 1st of May, I found myself at the start of an incredible 4 days in Ashland, Oregon with my daughter’s drama group.  The shows were brilliant!  The backstage tour was mind-blowing. The actor workshop was so fun.  I made new friends, re-discovered my passion for theater and most importantly spent time with my incredible eldest daughter and all of her lovely drama friends.  Ashland is a sweet town with amazing theater, fun shopping, excellent restaurants and a beautiful central park.  I would highly recommend a visit to this show stopping town!

I am also grateful that our beautiful business thrives and grows and changes.  Here are the changes for May.  Highlights include Kathy McConnell teaching 2 new classes – Retro Cardio (a cardio class for baby boomers) and an Adult Beginning Ballet class.  She is so jazzed about these classes!  Also, Sonya McVay is back from maternity leave – yay!  We actually have quite a few new faces here at Tone.  I’ll roll out introductions in tomorrow’s post.

Here’s the list.  Leave me a comment with questions or more suggestions for June.  See you in the Studio soon!  ~Alyson

May Class Schedule Changes:


6:45am Yoga is now Worth the Wake Yoga – a gentle exploration of the depths of yoga

6:05pm Equipment Group will be taught by Sonya McVay


NEW 10:10am Retro Cardio with Kathy

5:10pm Cardio Toning with Sonya McVay is replacing DEVbody workout

5:10pm Pilates Mat Class will be taught by Fernanda

6:10pm Sculpt and Tone will be taught by Sonya McVay


6:45am is now a Sculpt & Tone Class with Sherrese


NEW 10:10am Adult Beginning Ballet & Movement Exploration with Kathy

NEW 6:05pm Equipment Group – Level 1&2 with Sonya McVay

6:10pm Pilates Mat Class – Level 1&2 will be taught by Megan


6:45am Yoga is now Worth the Wake Yoga – a gentle exploration of the depths of yoga

9:05am Equipment group with Sherrese is cancelled

5:10pm Pilates Mat Class – Level 1 & 2 is being taught by Sonya McVay


8:10am Easy Flow Yoga will be taught by Corinna Kirk

NEW 10:05am Equipment Group – Level 1 & 2 with Sonya McVay


9:05am Equipment Group with Jamie is cancelled.

It’s Tasty Tuesday – Ayurveda Style!


Every Tuesday, Deacon Carpenter – our resident Ayurvedist – shares an easy to make recipe.  Come by to taste the goodness.  Here is this week’s recipe:

Coconut Chocolate Laddo
2 cups nuts of any kind – I used ½ almonds and ½ walnuts
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp cinnamon powder
2 cups pitted dates
2 tbs Grade B maple syrup
Dried shredded coconut to roll the balls in

Clean your hands thoroughly!

Grind the nuts in a food processor until they have a flour-like consistency.  Add the cocoa and cinnamon powder to make as chocolaty as you like.  Add the dates and the maple syrup.

Blend together in the food processor, adding more dates until you get a “breakable” dough, which can hold form.  Form into walnut sized balls in your hands.  Roll and gently press the balls in the coconut.  Store in the fridge for up to 4 days . . . if they last that long!

Health Benefits:

Chocolate Ladoo are my absolute favorite treats when I’m in India (once I’ve gone through the Ayurvedic purgation program which was prescribed to me, of course).  Traditional Ladoo are made with condensed milk and a lot of chocolate, so the decadence outweighs the health benefits.  This recipe shows how you can make a much healthier Ladoo.

In Ayurveda, the bitterness in the unsweetened chocolate is stimulating and is used for an aphrodisiac.  Aphrodisiacs in Ayurveda focus more on strengthening the reproductive tissues.

Cinnamon is warming and helps regulate the blood sugar.

Dates are considered “sattvic” which means that they can be digested easily.  Dates are great before and after exercise, as they are loaded with potassium and other minerals that are consumed during exercise.  They are also grown in California, so they are a “local” super food.

You’ll also notice that I only cook with Grade B maple syrup, not Grade A.  Grade B is less refined, meaning that the syrup retains more minerals like potassium, calcium, zinc and manganese.

Ayurveda Events at Tone this week:

  • Tuesdays @ 6:10pm – Ayurveda Chat – Ayurveda and our body – How food becomes our tissues and how to produce high-quality tissues

Why should I participate in a Purification Program?

Why should I participate in a Purification Program? This is a question I am often asked. First of all, let me clarify what a Purification Program is and more importantly, what it is not. It is not a fad diet, or a fast. It is not strictly a cleanse diet but rather a structured program that combines whole food eating with supplements, nutritious supplement shakes, and light exercise. The menu includes an abundance of fresh vegetables and fruits, as well as select grains and proteins. This program supports the body’s ability to remove naturally occurring toxins. In addition to promoting a state that allows for toxin release, it is laying down a solid foundation for healthier eating. By participating in this program you will learn about making healthier food choices, as well as get tips and tricks for maintaining a healthy diet during the program, and most importantly, beyond. During the twenty-one days you will pick up life-changing habits.

How can you expect to feel during the program? To be honest, the first few days can be challenging, especially if you are addicted to caffeine or sugar. It takes a few days not only for your body to adjust to the new way of eating, but also to orient yourself around the new diet and routine. But let me tell you, the payoff is so worth it! By day three or four you will start to feel more energetic, clear headed, and lighter. Most people experience better, more restful sleep and any hormone imbalance symptoms such as hot flashes and irritability are improved. This is a life-changing program; here are some things past participants had to say…

“I felt amazing while on the Purification Program, my body felt nurtured and my mind felt clear. It was such a natural process to change the way I was eating, and soon my body craved nothing but wholesome and healthy foods. It changed the way I think about food. I am so much more conscious about what I am putting into my body. I find myself at the Farmer’s Market more often, and I spend more enjoyable time in the kitchen. The Purification Program was a wonderful experience and I am so grateful.”

“It’s been 3 weeks since the end of the purification cleanse and my energy is steady and strong. I’m still eating much like I did during the cleanse, lots of fresh vegetables and fruits, measured grains, regular protein and no caffeine, sugar or wheat. I added in dairy and feel fine. I was hoping that the pounds I lost during the cleanse wouldn’t jump back to my waist and thighs, and they haven’t!”

“I have struggled with weight loss many years. I have exercised till the cows come home and what I discovered is it’s what I was eating that has been the problem! Doing the Purification process I lost 6 pounds but it’s not the weight, it’s the inches that is most important. I lost an inch around the waist and thighs! My clothes are baggy! I feel amazing and I have incredible energy. As a side note, my skin is gorgeous too.”

In these three weeks you could be experiencing similar results, I hope you will join me in this amazing journey.



Calorie Burn, Cardio, Strength Training and Fun!


  • Increase your Calorie Burn
  • Increase your Cardio Capacity
  • Increase your Strength Training
  • Increase your Fun Factor–comraderie and music

The concept for our Pilates Equipment Circuit was born out of the brilliance and passion of your Pilates Equipment teachers and dedicated Pilates Equipment devotees.  Ideas like these start with “What if…”  and bright eyes, spurts of “crazy ideas”, the flying frenzy and messiness of creativity.  So here it is:  It will be a 10 minute group warm up which will include your focus of the day and an overview of how the exercises work.    40 awesome minutes of moving on different pieces of equipment for 4 minutes at a time and then…HOT 30 seconds of cardio busting fun…then resume after that flash to 4 minutes at each station…repeat…spin.    I’m breathing hard and laughing already!  Music will be a huge part of the motivation.  As we wind down, there will be a 5 minute cooldown, feedback, stretchy part before we send  you out the door invigorated and happy to be alive…AND that is it in a Nutshell!  Try it…have fun…sign up…

For more information click here

To register click here

April Class Updates!

We’ve got exciting changes on board for April.  More cardio options with Cardio Toning and Equipment Circuit Groups.  More nutrition options with Fit Club, Purification and Spice Class.  More Yoga/Ayurveda with a weekly Ayurveda chat.  Here’s the list:


NEW  11:10 – 12:00pm Cardio Toning with Loni

5:05pm Equipment Group is now an Equipment Circuit class


CANCELLED 6:45am Sculpt and Tone

NEW 1:05 – 2:00pm Springboard and Small Equipment with Kathy.  Separate pricing.

4:10pm Tween Pilates is now Teen Pilates – open for ages 11 to 17 and will be an ongoing class.  This class will be taught by Enrica

5:10pm Bodeci Workout is now called DEVbody.  Same great workout!

5:10pm Pilates Mat – Level 1&2 AND 6:10pm Sculpt & Tone is now taught by Enrica

NEW 6:10pm Ayurveda Chat with Deacon

6:05pm Equipment Group is now taught by Clare


10:10am Pilates Mat Class – Level 2 & 3 is now a Gliders and Small Ball Class

6:10pm Pilates Mat Class – Level 1&2 is now a Barre Toning Class


CANCELLED 6:45am Sculpt and Tone

4:10pm Tween Pilates on Thursday’s last class is April 3.  The Tuesday class will continue.

5:10pm Bodeci Workout is now called DEVbody.  Same great workout!


5:10pm Pilates Mat Class – Level 1 & 2 is being taught by Fernanda

NEW 5:05pm Equipment Circuit Class with Enrica


8:10 – 9:00am Easy Flow Yoga – we are currently interviewing potential teachers.  Decision soon!

9:05am Equipment Group is now an Equipment Circuit class

The March Schedule is out!

We have our March schedule out.  We actually got it out early – on February 28th – which is quite impressive (and maybe a first).  We’re excited about the offerings and already looking to April to add more.  This big, light space is inspiring!  Let’s fill it up.  :)

Early Morning Yoga – we’ve added Heidi on Mondays and Clare on Fridays.  6:45 to 8:00am.  Don’t worry if you have to leave early for work.  That’s fine.  So, now you can come to yoga Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays AND Fridays.  Heidi and Clare wrote their description for their classes.  I would invite you to take a look.  They are very sweet.  Oh!  Come on Monday and/or Friday the first 2 weeks in March for the chance to win the book “Heart of Yoga”.

PreNatal Yoga + Pilates – we now have 2 available times for this – Mondays at 4:00 with Jenn and Wednesday evenings with Loni at 6:10pm.  The Wednesday night class has been shortened to end at 7:00pm.  We hope this works for everyone.  Both Jenn and Loni are very excited to work with our PreNatal folks.  Please help spread the word about these classes.  I know there are not very many PreNatal movement offerings in Sonoma County AND the work is so important, functional and healthy.

Tween Pilates – We are excited to offer this class.  It will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 4:10 to 5:00pm for 4 weeks – with a break the week of March 17th for Spring Break.  This class came forth because of a suggestion from a client.  She offered concern for her growing daughter to continue to exercise during the off season of her sport and seeing her slouching.  Another client was concerned that her daughter, while athletic, was not very flexible.  I watch my kids hunched over their cell phones and wonder.  So, in this class, they’ll play with posture, alignment, flexibility and stability.  $10 drop in.  We set it up for 11 and 12 year olds but if your kid is interested and not in that age range, please do not hesitate to contact me and we’ll talk about if it is appropriate for him or her.  Who knows?  You might get a class set up for YOUR kid!

New Saturday Line-up – Clare is teaching an 8:10 Sculpt and Tone class.  She’ll bring a zip to your step and a smile to your face while giving you the strong, awesome workout that you are looking for.  We hope you can join her.  Fernanda is teaching the Mat 1&2 class and Clare is teaching the Intro/Level 1 class – both at 9:10am.  Awesome!

There’s some teacher changes and equipment group switches.  Come by and grab a schedule and our online schedule is always up to date.

Keep the class ideas coming.  We love to hear your suggestions and know that we are always working on new and exciting offerings.  See you soon!