Adventures in Yoga – Bike Yoga

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*(I debated whether to go ahead and post this since the bike is gone, but it doesn’t change how I feel about riding my bike. Stay tuned for New Bike Day Part II…)

New Bike Day was a few weeks ago and it was incredible.

My butt is sore, but it was worth it. I picked up the bike and rode in my hood before heading to Liberty State Park.

I haven’t been this excited about something in such a long time. I smiled as I pedaled through the park- the wind was pretty rough but I couldn’t be stopped.

Then it occurred to me, why not stop?

So I did.

Breathing consciously makes you pause and stay in the moment.

I say this every time teach. Every. Single. Time.

But on New Bike Day the physician healed herself.

I pulled out a book and read for a bit. I took a few photos. I thought about a few things. I even spaced out.

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At first I was feeling hesitant to ride, now I’m wondering how I can ride and stay warm during colder months. I’m hooked. Visions of bike rides and watching the leaves change dance in my head.

Namaste y’all.

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Vegan Diaries – Pizza Treats

I feel like the toughest part of a diet that is 80% plant based is creating tasty snacks or appetizers. Let’s face it, there’s only so much crudite a person can eat. I mean how many carrots sticks and cucumber slices can you serve before getting an eye roll (my everlasting love of cucumbers not withstanding).

People operate with the best of intentions, right? That extends to healthy eating. If options were out there, we would snatch them up like a lion chasing its prey.

Well Simba, the search is over. Mama’s got a little something I think you’ll enjoy!

These treats are great for movie night or a slumber party. They’re gluten-free low and fat and really delicious. And at 21 calories each you’re not breaking the calorie bank. The only thing you’ll likely need to buy is cauliflower so on top of all that, it’s economical too!!!

I know the good times are rollin’.

Let’s get down.

Ingredients (makes 12)

  • 2 c cauliflower
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 c Tofutti Better Than Ricotta (I actually can’t believe how good this is…)
  • 1 T oregano (I went very heavy with the spices, you can adjust but I feel the spices give it that pizza taste)
  • 1T red pepper flakes
  • 1 T garlic powder
  • 1/2 t sea salt
  • 1 oz Vegan Parmesan shredded
  • 1 T olive oil
  • Non-stick spray for muffin tin (or muffin wrappers)
  • Pasta sauce or pizza sauce for dipping

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 425
  2. In the food processor, chop the cauliflower and garlic until it’s the consistency of rice
  3. Heat the olive oil in a dutch oven or pot
  4. Saute the cauliflower and add the spices
  5. Cook for 4-5 minutes
  6. Transfer mixture to bowl
  7. Fold in ricotta
  8. Chill mixture in frig for 1 hour
  9. Use muffin wrappers in tin
  10. Mixture should be packed down into tin so they don’t fall apart
  11. Cook for 30-40 minutes (check at 25 minutes)
  12. Cauliflower should be brown and crispy
  13. Make sure muffin tin cools or appetizers will break apart
  14. Serve with pizza sauce!

These much more decadent than they should!

Namaste y’all!!

Non-Attachment is a Mo-Fo, Yo

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Patanjali says that we can meditate on anything that our heart desires. The important thing is not what we meditate on, but more that we meditate. And then gradually to meditate more and more on what corresponds to the innermost longing of our heart. The practice of meditation . . . gradually works its magic in stilling the mind. (42)”
Ravi Ravindra, The Wisdom of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras: A New Translation and Guide by Ravi Ravindra

My bike was stolen.

And I’m fucking mad.

Mad because I only had it for two weeks.

Mad because it was my mode of transportation.

Mad because I was still editing a post on the joys of bike riding and said bike is gone.

And worst of all, I’m mad at myself for being mad.

It’s not right, yo.

I’m trying to rise above it.

There’s so much trouble in the world…

It’s not a big deal. There are real problems. Real issues. Real concerns.

It’s gone.

I feel like a baby being upset.

Then the thoughts come…Was I enjoying it too much? Should I have been less excited? Maybe I shouldn’t have said anything to anyone.

I spent the better part of two years watching the other shoe drop. My last post was about exhaling.

It’s not a big deal I whisper to myself. Grow up.

But quiet as it’s kept, I’m feeling a lil’ jumpy.

Just because you’re paranoid…

I’m telling myself- To. Just. Let. It. Go.

Emotion hasn’t caught up with my intellect.

It’s icky to face these feelings, to feel robbed of peace. Typing that last sentence I realize, there’s the rub.

I can’t let anything steal my peace; not a bad day, a bad practice or any other unresolved bullshit.

Someone told me that when her son’s new bike was stolen they discussed how someone else must have really needed it. Those words made their way to my heart.

let it go…let it go…let it go…let it go…

I talk about non-attachment a lot. The real tests of non-attachment happen in the living of life and not the talking about it.

It’s a hard drug to give up, desire. Craving seems perfectly natural and most of the time perfectly harmless.

Sometimes, I think I am because I crave.

Even my need to evolve is craving in a new outfit.

Let it go.

Let it go.

Let it go.

Namaste y’all.

Tantric TV Yoga

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I used to do a lot of binge watching.

Just shove a whole season down my throat because somehow it tasted better.

But lately, my television experience is a lot more tantric.

Like many, many other people I been watching Orange is the New Black.

A joy lies inside the waiting to watch the next episode. Netflix makes it hard because they release the whole season at once, however, I have shown a shockingly huge amount of discipline.

Yeah I know, it’s a prison show full of stereotypes- but the writing isn’t all bad.

We can spend time judging my tastes later, more interesting things await.

So since I’m really taking my time with every episode every word sinks in.

Jengi Kohan, the creator must know that I love a good turn of phrase and quippy dialogue that feels real.

It’s. Absolutely Satisfying.

(And Natasha Lyonne is fcuking awesome, but again I digress)

Episode 10 deals with bad teens and the Scared Straight program. In one scene the main character talks to a young banger girl in a wheelchair.

It starts at minute 2:44 but the whole five minutes is great. (the language is rough, so the kids need to walk away)

“It’s coming face-to-face with who you really are.” 

I know I’ve mentioned that yoga is my therapy, my church, my medicine and my safe place.

But really, it just brought me face-to-face with myself.

It happens every time I practice, but I feel myself most when I’m in the hot room.

I don’t know what it is about the heat or the ritual I have about setting up my mat, but if I’m running from something I can be sure that it’s going to be waiting for me when I sit my ass down and fold my legs to open my hips. Baddha Konasana will never be the same.

One of these moments happened today.

I got to class. I changed. I chatted. I kept looking at the entrance to the hot room sideways, like it was about to come for me. (And I hadn’t even watched Episode 10 yet! )

I stopped bullshitting and went to face the heat.

Feelings started to well up and I felt my eyes leak (I’m so happy the room is dark).

But I realized that I wasn’t upset about anything.

I. Was. Okay.

The past 12 months were more stressful than I can describe, and I didn’t talk about it as much as I should have to my family and friends.

Now, on the other side I realized that it was my mat and practice that had been my confidantes.

The hot room is where I came when it felt confusing, dark and on some days without any hope.

And now that the storm is over, I can exhale. It sounds stupid but I wanted to cry did cry and thanked the room for being there.

You can run but you can’t hide in 105°.

Staying in the moment helped me stay in the moment off the mat.

Being present can get you through a world of stress.

These next 12 months may prove to be the most challenging of my life.

But with a mat, a hot room, myself and the truth, I’ll be better than okay.

It isn’t prison, but hot yoga made me her bitch. And her truth has set me free.

Namaste y’all. 

half bind hot-yoga

Flatiron Yoga

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I’m sitting outside in the NYC sun. The Flatiron district is bustling with tourists and New Yorkers soaking up the last drops of summer along with cold coffee drinks.

An inversion workshop is happening in an hour. I’m not sure why I’m feeling my nerves go all a flutter. It’s a beginner workshop and after consulting not one but three other teachers about it- I’m sure it will be a blast.

Maybe it’s my horoscope- I know there may be some snickering, but whenever I read it, I’m able to make some connection to my life- which is the point I guess.

Anyway it says that life is changing and I should go with it. Not really- but that’s the gist or at least what I’m taking from it. New shapes and all that. How will I see the world differently when I’m on my head?

Can you imagine the gaping mouths when the Flatiron was going up?

How much changed because of it?

Off to fly and see new things.

Namaste y’all.

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Adventures in Yoga- Progress at a Snail’s Place

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I don’t love practicing in the morning. This means of course that I learn big lessons. I think this is what happens when you don’t move mindfully or meet life with resistance.

During the commuter crush hour people move faster that they need to. I can’t help but wonder if it’s really being in a rush?

Ego disguised as I’m so busy feels more honest.

An older woman was slowly walking down the steps. Her cane was wobbly but she was steady. A guy next to me kept trying to move past her. As I retell the story I want to use an adjective describe his actions and movements but that would really only be my perception of what I thought he was doing and not what he was actually doing.

I was slightly annoyed. Okay I was very annoyed. Annoyed because I was frustrated at breaking my flow and having to slow down. So it made sense to transfer that feeling than to acknowledge it in myself.

Self-awareness is a bitch, yo.

As I consciously  turned on being mindful, the more annoyed I became with my walk to the studio.

No one seemed to be paying attention to anything. A guy on a bike screamed at a cab driver. A woman rolled her eyes at a mom pushing a stroller in the middle of the sidewalk.

And everyone turned to glare at the tourists in the middle of the street.

I exhale at the studio and see one of my favorite teachers! Phew.

But she’s taking class, not teaching.

Shit. I can’t win for losing at it’s not even noon.

B, a teacher I’ve only had once before focused on slowing down every movement.

At the very start of class this started.

I wish I could make this stuff up.

As I looked up at the ceiling I said to myself, ‘Okay Universe I get it. Slow down. You made your point. Can we move on now and get to the next thing?’

And so the rest of class went.

Time didn’t just slow, it stopped.

It was one of the most thorough classes I have ever taken.

And with good reason.

I realize every day that I know less and less.

It’s humbling.

It’s frustrating.

It’s exciting.

It’s reality.

With eyes and judgement looking out instead of in, I’m part of the problem and not the solution.

Eyes open, heart open.

Mouth shut.

Namaste y’all.

Rev Jim – Taxi Yoga

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I’ve been without my TV for over a week now.

I need to get it set up.

But in the meantime- I’ve been watching DVDs, listening to lots more music and enjoying the silence.

The old fogey in me loves to pull out shows from my youth. Lately, I’ve been into Taxi.

Taxi was an amazing show. From the theme song to the groundbreaking story lines- it was great TV.

Jim Ignatowski, or Rev Jim was my favorite character. He always seemed to be in a constant state of flux. He was the wisdom of the show- wrapped in a cloak of addiction, confusion and forgetfulness.

And of course I think of yoga.

Reverend Jim: I saw you standing in a Manhatten sunset / Your auburn hair blowing from Atlantic winds. / Your eyes were smiling at thoughts far away, / Dancing to sonnets only you could hear. // If I could, I would build you a castle / In a world from some other time. / A castle I can only imagine/A castle only you could inspire.