Crystal Carden Brings Essential Oils to CNY

crystal carden

Have you heard the news? Chasing Nirvana Yoga is adding an essential oils expert to our yoga teacher lineup, and we couldn’t be more excited to welcome Crystal Carden to the team!

Crystal, a Massachusetts native, dove headfirst into her yoga practice and essential oil studies about a year ago. Her journey began when her family started a keto diet variation that helped her lose over 60 pounds. She was inspired to continue finding new ways to be the happiest and healthiest version of herself. After trying just one yoga class, she was hooked!

Crystal started her teacher training around the same time she began learning about essential oils as natural solutions for health issues and substitutes for chemical-laden products. Once her family was paying more attention to the food they put in their bodies, she wanted to take the effort one step further and cut out unnecessary chemicals. Crystal was able to replace a lot of her family’s everyday items and medications with essential oil rollers. From headaches and muscle pains to anxiety and fatigue, the ailments that can be treated by essential oils are endless.

“When you find something you love, you want to share with people. I believe in this too much to fail. And I give the oils to my kids, so you know I truly believe in them.”

Because essential oils only take about 20 seconds to enter the bloodstream, they’re perfect for fast relief and benefits. She says anything you would ingest as a plant can be ingested as an oil. Plus, her oils are certified as non-GMO, so you can trust that none of the crops were treated with chemicals when they were being grown.

essential oils

Something Crystal loves about her work with essential oils is tailoring the concoctions to individual people; it makes her feel like a Harry Potter of holistic wellness. For example, she recently created an essential oil solution for a woman who wanted relief from asthma and allergies. Even her husband, who was skeptical of Crystal’s oil voodoo at first, finds himself asking for the “magic potion” for his neck. Meanwhile, citrus blends work nicely for her 12-year-old son, Brennan, who tells me that lime is his absolute favorite oil.

“When you start to see what you do benefit other people, that’s the cool piece. You become an inspiring person for people, who then want to make healthy changes for themselves. That’s the neatest part for me.”

Could bringing essential oil rollers into the office help employees focus, feel more energetic and avoid aches and pains? Absolutely! Contact Chasing Nirvana Yoga to learn about the different essential oil solutions and rollers that Crystal can make for you. Feel free to check out Crystal’s business, Branches & Co., for more information about essential oils.

5 Office-Friendly Plants That Promote Good Health

Millennials have spoken, and wellness is not only a priority in the workplace. It’s a necessity. Thankfully, employers are listening and are beginning to offer more and more wellness amenities to meet their needs. Even office design is trending in this direction. A Harvard study found that office design plays a big role in career success and overall well-being. It examined ten high-performing buildings across five US cities and found those who worked in green-certified offices (indicating the level of environmental friendliness) had a 26% boost in cognition, 30% fewer sickness related absences, and a 6% rise in their sleep quality.

If your office is not green-certified, there are plenty of ways you can do your part, starting with bringing a little nature to your desk. Plants have notable healing qualities, and besides … who doesn’t want a little friend to keep them company at work?! 

Here are five office-friendly plants that promote good health.

1. Succulents


Succulents are super low-maintenance, needing a good soaking only about once a week. There are many different varieties in both green and vibrant colors, so choose what suits you! Succulents are known to help purify air and improve humidity. They can also improve your focus, and some studies even suggest they can increase pain tolerance when they are nearby! You can find plenty of succulent choices at your local garden center. 

2. English Ivy

English Ivy

English Ivy will grow as long as you let it, so if you have a lot of desk space, this is the perfect plant to add! They will grow in low light but do best in bright, indirect light. English Ivy has been shown to reduce indoor mold counts and can help alleviate airborne toxins. This plant is especially helpful for people with allergies because it is anti-inflammatory, antiarthritic, and antioxidant. You can breathe easy with English Ivy on your side!

3. Aloe


Aloe is an incredible plant with many health properties. You may know it best for its help with sunburns and skin injuries, but that’s not all aloe helps with. Aloe has antioxidant and antibacterial properties that can inhibit growth of bad bacteria that causes infections in humans. You can even ingest aloe for potential digestion benefits, use it as a mouthwash, and swap out your standard pain reliever for its gel. Be sure to discuss topical or supplemental use of aloe with your doctor to see if it’s right for you! 

4. Philodendron


Pilodendrons are another low-maintenance plant that are commonly used in the house, which makes them perfect for your office building! They are also very adaptable to change. Philodendrons are one of the best plants for purifying the air. They are even NASA-approved as a means of providing purer and cleaner air for space stations!

5. Bamboo


Bamboo plants are prominent in Zen gardens, so this is reason enough to keep one on your desk for peace and tranquility at work. This long, woody grass is resilient and quite nutritional as well as beautiful – it’s a rich source of amino acids, phosphorous, dietary fiber, magnesium, protein, iron, potassium, copper, selenium, vitamin B1, nicotinic acid, calcium, zinc, sodium, riboflavin, carotene, and essential minerals. 

Chasing Nirvana Yoga offers on-site yoga and wellness classes to office buildings, community spaces, events, and more. Our goal is to bring a focus to wellness as a whole rather than just fitness. Our classes encourage your workforce to take a physical and mental break during their workday and to find a balance between stillness of mind, strength of body, and peace within your heart, all of which will help you maintain the inertia behind the daily juggle of life. For more information, please visit

Healthy Spaghetti Recipe: Quick Fresh Tomato Sauce Over Spaghetti Squash

Healthy Tomato Sauce

It’s true – you won’t feel your very best unless you focus on full-body health, which includes both the physical and mental portions. Fitness is an important part of the physical aspect, but did you know good nutrition can help prevent a number of ailments? Studies say eating a healthy, balanced meal can reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, cancer, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, and more. It can also improve your ability to fight off illness and increase your energy levels.

At Chasing Nirvana Yoga, we LOVE good food, so we’re always looking for healthy meals that taste great! Our studio manager, Kristen Lamarre, is particularly good at cooking up delicious recipes. She is a certified yoga instructor and a vegetarian who mostly cooks vegan. Her blog, Beets and Bare Feet, is a great resource for recipes that taste and feel good! 

Here’s one recipe we absolutely love. If you try it, drop us a comment! We’d love to hear what you think!

Quick Fresh Tomato Sauce Over Spaghetti Sauce

This recipe serves 3-4 depending on the size of your spaghetti squash.


  • 1 medium spaghetti squash

  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 4 medium ripe tomatoes, chopped

  • 2 medium shallots, diced

  • 2-4 cloves of garlic (depending on your taste!), minced

  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped

  • 1-2 teaspoons Italian seasoning (optional)

  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes (optional)

  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut the spaghetti squash in half and scoop out the seeds. You can keep the seeds and roast them just like you would with pumpkin seeds!

  2. Rub the cut sides of the squash with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper, and then place cut side up on a baking sheet. Once the oven is preheated, place the squash in the oven until fork tender, about 30-45 minutes.

  3. While the squash bakes, prepare the sauce. Chop, dice, and mince the tomatoes, shallots, and garlic. In a skillet over medium heat, drizzle about a tablespoon of oil and sauté the shallots until they become translucent. This should take about 3-5 minutes.

  4. Add the garlic and a pinch of red pepper flakes and Italian seasoning if you would like. Sauté for 1-2 minutes.

  5. Add the chopped tomatoes and mix well. Let this come to a simmer on medium heat and then turn the heat down to medium low. Allow to cook until most of the juices from the tomatoes have cooked down. This usually takes around 15-20 minutes.

  6. Clean up any mess left around your kitchen while you wait, because I make huge messes! Or prepare other sides to eat with this. Garlic bread? Salad? Those are my favorites!

  7. At this point your squash should be done. Remove from the oven and let cool until you can safely handle it.

  8. While the squash cools, chop some basil and stir into your sauce. Turn heat to low and cover the skillet.

  9. Using a fork, scrape out the inside of the spaghetti squash, making noodles. Cover the noodles in your fresh sauce. You’re ready to eat!