Alessandra: Desk Angel and Doula Extraordinaire

Alessandra is our Desk Angel of the Month for May! We are so grateful for the warm, calm energy that she brings to our space. Students and teachers can feel at peace when Alessandra is around! You can find her behind the desk on Wednesday mornings, attending our Family Yoga class with her little one, or participating in a knitting circle held by Bella Prāṇa community members at our wellness studio in Tampa, FL. We love you Alessandra!

What brought you to yoga? How has it impacted your world?

I started taking yoga classes on and off for exercise when I was a teenager. However, I began practicing more this past year because it allows me to better connect with myself both spiritually and physically. The physical and emotional awareness that yoga brings to me allows me to be a better doula. I am able to attune to my clients’ needs more easily, resulting in an unforgettable bond. However, the most significant impact in my world is that I am surrounded by like-minded individuals. I also appreciate the healing opportunities offered. Whether it is through a weekly yoga class, meditation, or simple conversation with students, teachers, and other angels, the energy exchange is always humbling and I am able to carry it with me throughout my day.

What advice can you give to those who are just beginning their practice?

Be gentle with yourself and don’t be discouraged. It is not about being able to get into a complicated yoga position, but to show up and honor yourself by recognizing that your abilities are always changing.

Why are you a Bella Prāṇa Desk Angel?

It was my sweet 5 year old that brought Bella Prāna and to be a Desk Angel. I became a substitute Desk Angel so I could send my daughter to yoga classes. However, the universe saw it differently and shifted me into a permanent position, exposing me to greater opportunities to nurture myself.

What’s one of your favorite healthy recipes that you would like to share with the Bella Prana community?

Healthy meals and recipes are questionable with me because I cook like my grandmothers did- by eye and season by taste. However, my favorite healthy and filling meal is stuffed peppers. These can be accommodated to all whether vegan/vegetarian or carnivorous.

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 red and or yellow peppers (cut in half, clean and set aside)
  • 1 small onion 
  • 2 cloves of garlic 
  • 1 zucchini 
  • 1-2 carrots 
  • 1 stalk of celery
  • 1-2 tomato
  • 1/2 lb of chop meat of your choice  (optional) –  add seasoning and cook halfway, drain fluid and set aside
  • 1 quart of low salt vegetable stock
  • 1 cup of raw barley or rice – cook half way and set aside. If you have leftover pre-cooked rice sitting in the fridge, use it. :) 
  • vegan cheese or Italian mixed shredded cheese
  • salt, pepper, turmeric, thyme, sage  or (chicken seasoning)- season to taste- small amounts in everything go a long way, because when you combine everything you will have a complimentary melody

Directions:

Dice all the vegetables, except the peppers, and combine them in the pan you will use to bake. Add a bit more seasoning, as well as the rice and meat. Mix all the ingredients. If you have both a vegan and carnivore in one household like I do, separate the mixture (you will want less mixture with the meat). You may cook separately or in one large baking pan, it is all up to you. Spoon the content into each half of the pepper. If you have excess stuffing you can leave it around the peppers to cook and serve on the side. Add the stock, pour some in the peppers and around, you can use as little or as much of it as you would like. The key is to keep everything moist- we are not making a soup. Bake for about 30 minutes at 425 degrees. The vegetables are to be tender, not over cooked. Occasionally try to spoon in some broth to keep the content of the peppers moist  and help the barley/rice cook some more. Once you determine the peppers are tender, add the cheese on top and let cook for 5 more minutes until melted.

This recipe requires work, but when it’s made from love, the meal is always great. Enjoy!

Bella Prāṇa Wellness Collective is a Yoga Studio in Tampa Florida. If you are interested in becoming a Desk Angel email us at [email protected]