Adventures in Yoga- Don’t Go Chasin’ Yoga Waterfalls

yoga-mats

Dear Gorgeous Genius…

Your holiest pain comes from your yearning to change yourself in the exact way you’d like the world around you to change….

Your sweet spot is in between the true believers and the scoffing skeptics….

-Rob Brezsny

Today I stopped myself from chasing the yoga dragon.

When I first started yoga, my asana practice was physical and was what most mattered. I was keen on finding the shape rather that breathing into the space of it.

Besides understanding that most of yoga happens when I’m off the mat, I’ve learned to let my practice be whatever it’s supposed to be.

Usually. (That’ the goal)

You may know what I mean- you may not.

There’s the first time that an asana practice cracks you open.

It’s like rebirth, sex or a damn bursting. You are inside a pose and make a slight adjustment.

Then. Crack.

The rush of feelings is overwhelming…

You say to yourself, This. Is. Awesome.

It happened to me in Camel Pose. And I loved it. Sometimes I felt euphoric.

Sometimes I felt incredibly sad. But then it left me. Leaving me to feel- elated.

Once I burst out in tears.

Once I felt like a warrior.

Mostly I feel peace.

Sometimes I’m cranky.

It can start to feel like you need to go after a feeling.

As someone who never thought she’d give up smoking I know of what I speak.

My asana practice has helped me through dark times. I remember days when making it my mat was therapy.

But yoga can be addictive. I can get addicted to feeling good.

In extreme cases, an asana practice replaces living life.

I’ve danced there. When I was really into my practice, I did nothing but practice and practice.

There are times when it’s appropriate to push. But when life becomes about the pushing and not what comes after- we begin to wade in murky waters.

When your asana practice becomes all there is- you’ve got to do some investigation.

The fancy, technical term for this is called- hiding.

Sorry I’ve wandered.

Let’s float back to earlier. Take my hand I’ll guide you back to my class.

I warmed up. I could feel that I was a little tight, but my breathing was light.

As my practice was winding down I set up for Ustrasana. My mind was feeling cloudy. Both consciously and unconsciously I wondered if I pushed just a smidge (harder than I needed to) maybe I’d find something- awesome.

The thing about yoga is…it’s important to be in the moment- no need to chase waterfalls.

That’s what my yoga is about.

This was a big aha for me- recognizing that going for feeling awesome may not be what I need in the moment.

So I stayed. And it was what it was. Which is exactly what it was supposed to be.

Baby steps.

Namaste y’all.

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Vegan Diaries- Ratatouille

inspired recipes, vegan, meatless monday, middle eastern eggplant, grilling, stews,

 

 

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Stult’s Farm in Plainsboro, NJ. New Jersey is the Garden State!

 

My trip to Stult’s farm in Plainsboro, NJ was fruitful indeed. This family owned farm has been around since 1912 and they only sell what they grow. In addition, there are a ton of items you can pick yourself. Strawberry picking as a kid seemed like such an adventure!

 

I bought:

  • Middle Eastern zucchini
  • Eggplant
  • Peppers
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Tomatoes (Jersey tomatoes are THE BEST)
  • Basil
  • Corn

 

My haul in tow, I got home and looked at my goodies and decided to pass on my orginal plan and go with making Ratatouille instead!!!

 

Oh the deliciousness that awaits!  Ratatouille originated in Nice, France. It comes from the verb ‘toiller’ which means to toss. It started out as a peasant dish made by farmers in the summer. True Ratatouille only had tomatoes, zucchini, green and red bell peppers, onions and garlic. A bit later eggplant was added in.

 

I like the rustic aspect of this dish mostly because it means that everything doesn’t have to be perfect. At least that’s how I interpret ‘rustic’. This dish does take some work, but boy is it worth it. It’s perfect for a casual dinner with friends or a Sunday meal. The leftovers make an easy Meatless Monday lunch!

 

Ingredients

  • 1 eggplant
  • 2 summer squash or zucchini
  • 3 tomatoes roughly diced and seeded
  • 2 peppers roughly chopped (I used red and yellow)
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 onion roughly chopped
  • 3 springs fresh oregano removed from stem and chopped
  • 1 c mushrooms roughly chopped
  • 1/4-1/2 c olive oil
  • 1/4 red wine
  • 3/4 c vegetable broth or water
  • Salt and pepper to taste

 

Preparation
 
  1. Cut the eggplant and zucchini lengthwise sprinkle with salt/pepper and grill 4-5 minutes per side
  2. Simultaneously, in a large dutch oven saute onions, peppers, garlic, oregano, mushrooms and corn
  3. Turn down the heat on dutch oven when the onions become translucent
  4. Roughly chop the eggplant and zucchini and add to mixture in dutch oven
  5. Add tomatoes, broth and wine.
  6. Simmer for 15-20 minutes
  7. Garnish with fresh basil
Serve hot!
 
You can serve over quinoa, rice or couscous. A crusty 7 grain bread would also be lip smackingly perfect.

 

 

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This is before liquid and tomatoes were added. I know, someone needs to bust out the bigger dutch oven.

 

Enjoy… And for a little dinner music I included Kool & the Gang’s Summer Madness…

 

Be cool Jack.

 

Namaste y’all.