Recommitment to…

February 4, 2013

Recently, I was asked to teach a class for a group of students who focused on recommitting themselves to their goals.  To stay committed to a goal overtime takes incredible focus, dedication and a continual emphasis on being mindful – pretty powerful stuff to build a yoga class around.  As I sat with this idea and brainstormed how to teach this class, I looked at my own commitment to my practice: how it is has ebbed, flowed and changed overtime.  I saw the times that I eagerly got on my mat, full of enthusiasm and curiosity, and I saw the times that my mat hid in its corner as things far more tempting then sitting for meditation called my name.  What did it take to get back on my mat?  What did it take to pass by the call of the TV, Facebook and a million other distractions?  Renewal.  Excitement.  Possibility.

When things feel stale, difficult or tiresome we can look to Patanjali’s very first yoga sutra for encouragement:

Now this is Yoga observed in a tiny moment seated in the world

This verse reminds us to stay present – it isn’t about the end game or results.  It is about sitting up and taking notice right here, right now.  How is this Triangle pose different and important from all the other Triangle poses you’ve done?

As we mindfully pull ourselves into the present moment, can we see the beauty of possibility in each of these moments?

To see a World in a Grain of Sand

And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,

Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand

And Eternity in an hour

~William Blake

Recommit to your goals in this moment with the fullness of potential inside you.

Your Wake Up Call

January 21, 2013

Two recipes in a row from Whole Living magazine. Can you tell I read this publication every month? I have a serious addiction to magazines… Anyways, I just had to share this awesome concoction to spice up your morning. Starting your day with a mug of warm lemon water has dozens of fabulous benefits your gorgeous bod but this recipe adds a bit a zing and little more fun to this morning ritual. Even if you are still gonna have that cup of Joe (I still do), try to sip this elixir first…

Golden Elixir from Whole Living Magazine

1 cup hot water
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/8 tsp turmeric
1/8 tsp ground ginger (*note, I just drop a slice of fresh ginger in my cup instead of using ground)
Honey (*note, I leave out the honey. Not a fan of sugar first thing in the a.m. but to each their own!)

In a mug, stir together water, lemon juice, turmeric, ginger, and cayenne and honey to taste until combined.

Martin Luther King Jr.

January 21, 2013

Sometimes the news leaves me overwhelmed. Overwhelmed that our government will never be able to work together. Overwhelmed at all that needs to be fixed – education, the environment, the economy… So, today I am grateful to be reminded of the bravery, the strength and courage that Martin Luther King Jr. showed us. I am grateful to be reminded that he wasn’t too overwhelmed to dream. A lesson for all of us.

And while these thoughts reflect a very serious message, there is also room for levity and lightness. I love this blog post from the New Yorker; can’t wait to share my new playlist with you this week!

Lately I’ve noticed a repeating theme in conversation with friends… It seems that we all struggle with finding balance and understanding in what our relationships should give us. How much is fair to expect from a partner or friendship? How much should we be able to give ourselves? How do we know?

Wish I had the answer for you. I don’t. But, I do have a thought… When we talk about self-study, about knowing ourselves, there is a powerful nugget we easily overlook: what we notice in other people (whether through annoyance or admiration) is something that we already possess in ourselves. What we perceive is that which we are projecting out into the world. Whoa.

The first time I stumbled across this jewel, I thought of all those things that frustrate me with other people. In my previous career, I would spend hours complaining about clients that drove me nuts. To suddenly have the table flipped and the suggestion be that all those annoying habits are ones that I might (and do) possess was a pretty hard pill to swallow.

Ready for an even harder pill to swallow? How about those things we love about our friends and partners? Those qualities that we “need” in a relationship; that we expect our relationships to give us, yeah, we possess those qualities too.


So the question becomes, can we turn the mirror on ourselves and take a look at these qualities. Can we grow the traits we need (love, respect, trust) and can we soften around those we don’t (impatience, callousness, dishonesty)? I think our practice might allow us this chance. Being on our mats, breathing, it can helps us to grow our relationships with ourselves first. The practice encourages us to take responsibility for ourselves: to be safe in the physical practice, to witness the honest emotions that arise, to treat ourselves with kindness. Allowing this practice to spill into our lives off the mat might help us to be who we need to be inside and to move forward a bit more confidently with what we need in our relationships on the outside. What do you think?

Yoga & Ayurveda

January 7, 2013

I’ve had this book on my shelf for about 3 months now but I’ve finally plucked it from its hidden spot and put it on my bedside table. Want to read this one together? Let me know if you pick it up; I’m starting it this week!

Mushroom & Lima Bean Stew

January 7, 2013

I ripped this recipe out of an issue of Whole Living magazine a few years ago and it has become my go-to, flu-preventing, belly-filling winter stew. It takes a bit of time since you are starting with dried beans but, trust me, it is so worth the effort. Hardy, healthy and warming. If you are doing my cleanse this month, just skip the oil and substitue a splash of broth instead.

Mushroom & Lima Bean Stew

1 cup dried lima beans
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
1 large onion, diced (2 cups)
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
8 ounces shiitake mushrooms, trimmed and thinly sliced
8 ounces portobello mushrooms, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 bay leaf
8 cups low-sodium chicken stock
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 bunch kale (8 oz.), stems removed and leaves thinly sliced (6 cups)
Kosher salt

Soak beans overnight in water. Drain.
Heat oil in a large pot over medium
flame. Add onions and garlic. Cook until
tender, 6 to 8 minutes; transfer to a
bowl. Turn heat to medium high. Working
in batches, add mushrooms; cook
until golden brown. Transfer to bowl and
add more oil to cook remaining mushrooms.
Return mushrooms and onions to
pot and add squash, beans, bay leaf,
and stock. Season with pepper. Bring to
a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cover
partially. Cook until beans are just tender,
about 50 to 60 minutes. Stir in kale and
cook until tender, about 5 minutes more.
Season with salt.


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