Pose of the Week: Upward Facing Dog

Photo Credit: Lily Russo

Upward Facing Dog

URDVHA MUKHA SVANASANA

Benefits of the pose:

  • Strengthens arms, shoulders & wrists
  • Stretches spine, lungs & shoulders
  • Tones stomach muscles
  • Helps relieve mild depression and fatigue
  • Opens chest

Asana Breakdown:

To get into this pose, begin in low cobra. Firmly press your hands into the ground as your arms lengthen. Draw shoulder blades onto the back as the collar bones begin to lift and spread. Feet are together, big toes touching, tops of the feet touching the ground. Hips, thighs and shins are off the mat. Chin can gently tilt towards the ceiling.

Sources:

“Upward-Facing Dog.” Yoga Journal. Cruz Bay Publishing, n.d. Web. 5 Nov. 2015.

Avocado Pancakes

Avacado Pancakes

An alternative to the sweet starchy breakfast! Here’s a meal that will excite your taste buds and set you right for the day ❤

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1/4 Cup Coconut Flour

1/2 tsp Baking Soda

A pinch of Salt

2 eggs

1 Avocado

3 shallots

Vegan Butter

1/4 cup Unsweetened coconut milk

Dressing:

4-6 tbsp Vegan butter

1 tbsp Parsley

1/4-1/2 lemon

Garnish:

Shallots

Parsley

Avocado

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Take out a large mixing bowl and add in eggs, avocado (mashed), baking soda, salt, coconut flour, coconut milk and stir well. Grease a frying pan with butter, turn heat on medium/high, add a dollop of batter. Allow the pancake to cook on one side until the edges are golden brown or you see bubbles simmering to the top. Flip. While making pancakes, take out another small pot and add in butter, lemon juice, and parsley. Melt on very low heat so as not to wilt the parsley. Place pancakes on a plate, drizzle dressing over top, garnish and enjoy.

Cabbage Salad

cabbage salad

This is by far one of the quickest, cheapest, most delicious, and nutritious recipes!

Cabbage is loaded with Vitamin C, K, B6, Manganese, Calcium, Thiamin, beta-carotene, flavonoids, along with other nutritive properties!

In fact, there is research out there that states that cabbage is helpful for Heart Disease, Cancer, Diabetes, boosting Immune Function as well as Obesity.

Raw Cabbage, especially, is a high prana food, so eat up!

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Ingredients

Raw Cabbage

Coconut oil (melted) or Olive Oil

Nutritional Yeast

Lemon Juice

Cilantro

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If using coconut oil, turn on low and melt oil. Let cool and then pour over chopped cabbage. Toss salad and squeeze lemon juice over your cabbage. Add nutritional yeast and cilantro. ❤

Mistakes: A Step In The Right Direction

It is a misconception to think any one of any stature is ever free from the capability of making mistakes. Mistakes can arise from even the most sincere intention or the smallest lapse in judgement. The importance of mistakes is that they give you feedback and new direction.

Growing up, I was a girl who strived for perfection and deeply criticized myself, my worth, and my merits if I did not meet the impossibly high standard I had set for myself. Interestingly enough, I did not have parents who pressured me to act this way nor was anything else in my surroundings urging me to do this to myself. It came from with in. This unfathomable fear of being wrong. I would say today I can at least pat myself on the back for not being a perfectionist, but I still do strive to answer the question, “What is the most right?”.

I remember this summer, I briefly took a job as a barista at my favorite coffee house. I really had no business being there, however. I knew nothing of coffee, nor did I even drink it myself. On one of my first days, I kept making a series of mistakes that lead to lots of spilling and clean up. I was so embarrassed, but relieved when I apologized to one of my co-workers who replied, “That’s okay. Mistakes are where life happens.”

Even recently, when I moved in with my partner — a move I may not have truly been ready for in my heart, but quickly learned to adapt to — he said to me a quote of similar nature: “Mistakes are unavoidable so you might as well have fun and enjoy the ride.”

Naturally, the part of my brain that has in some way or another programmed itself to strive for perfection was being overrided by the notion that a mistake could possibly been a good thing.

Mistakes are bound to happen. They hurt ourselves and they can hurt others, but they are ultimately how we learn, where we grow, and are what makes our journey unique. I recently lost a job I cared about deeply for a careless mistake, a mistake compatible to that which you make on a math test and think to yourself, “Really? I can’t believe I forgot to do that!”. It’s with a heavy heart that I step away from there, deeply regretting my actions. But I’d like to think that nothing happens without reason. Even mistakes. Yes, even mistakes are divinely orchestrated and can lead you to exactly where you need to be.

This post isn’t to say that you should purposefully make mistakes, but, perhaps, when you do make them, give yourself some room to breathe. Give yourself permission to mess up because that’s where life happens. When you find yourself in the midst of self-ridicule try to change to tone to one of self-compassion and have a little faith. Even though, you may feel deeply sorry for your actions, trust that all is as is because the universe is as is. And, ultimately that it will be okay. Have trust in your actions and faith in your merits. ❤

Pose of the Week: Hanumanasana

Lord Hanuman Pose

HANUMANASANA

Benefits of the Pose:

  • Stretches groin, hips, & thighs
  • Opens Heart
  • Strengthens & improves functionality of abdominal muscles
  • Increases flexibility of hips when practiced frequently

Asana Breakdown:

This pose requires great flexibility and strength and definitely requires a bit of a warm up before getting into it. Personally, I keep this posture till one of my final poses, to ensure that I don’t hurt myself and can get the most benefit out of the asana. For preparation, I like to start off in Ardha Hanumanasana (Half Hanuman/Half Splits). To begin, start in Downward Facing Dog. Inhale one leg into three legged-dog, exhale step it in between your legs and bring your back leg down to the floor. Begin to straighten the front leg, allowing your foot to come off the floor, resting on your ankle. Begin to melt your heart closer to your knee and breathe here. This is the traditional prep pose for Hanumanasana.

Once you feel comfortable here, you can begin to ease your front leg forward and extend your back leg on the ground behind you. Straightening both and coming into full Hanumanasana. Here, you want to square your hips as much as possible. So let’s say your left leg is forward, take your attention to the right hip and begin to draw it closer to the front and allow for an external rotation in the the back leg. Lengthen the spine and allow the collar bones to lift and spread.

This can make the pose uncomfortable. The best way to ease int this pose from grace here is to use your hands as leverage and pull your groin a few inches off the ground. Drawing the thighs in closer together, you will begin to get deeper into the pose as well as your hips. Practice here, until you can comfortably remain in the traditional expression with integrity. From here, you can start to play. Options including, bending the back leg and grabbing the foot, reaching arms up over head or leaning forward over the front leg.

Gluten Free Sugar Free Paleo Muffins

muffin muffin2 muffin3 muffin4

These muffins are surprisingly good! I expected them to turn into a rock of bland luckiness, but I was delighted to find that they are sweet, nutritious, hardy, and soft.

This is the perfect breakfast or snack for any one with severe allergies, wants to lay off the sugar, or is doing the Candida Diet. This recipe was inspired by one I found online at http://www.thecandidadiet.com, but I put a couple of my own special twists in there.

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Ingredients

1 Cup Coconut Flour

1/2 Cup Coconut Flakes

1/4 Cup Flaxseeds

1/4 Cup Walnuts

1/4 Cup Pumpkin Seeds

2 Tbsp Chia Seeds

1/4 cup Raw Cacao

2 Tsp Cinnamon

1/2 Tsp Nutmeg

1/4 Tsp Clove

2 Eggs

1-1 1/2 Tbsp Stevia

1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract

1/4 Cup Almond Butter

1-2 Cups Unsweetened Coconut Milk

Time: 25-30 minutes

Makes: 12

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Set the oven to 375 degrees. Take out one large mixing bowl and place in flour, coconut flakes, seeds, almond butter and cacao. Add in eggs and coconut milk and whisk until all the ingredients are well blended. If needed, add more coconut milk until the batter is sticky but not watery. Add in cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, stevia and vanilla extract and continue to stir the batter. Take out your muffin tin and line it with cupcake liners or grease well with oil or butter. Fill your tin with the batter. These muffins don’t rise very much, if at all, so be sure to fill your liner to the brim. Garnish with more seeds and cacao, if you please. Place in the oven for 15 minutes. Check your muffins by placing a fork in the middle. If batter is still wet in the center cook for another 5-10 minutes. Once done, let them cool for 10 minutes, serve with a glass of coconut milk and then enjoy ❤