Pose of the Week: Crow

Crow

Crow

BAKASANA

Benefits of the pose:

  • Strengthens Upper Arms & Wrists
  • Increases Focus
  • Works Core
  • Stretches Upper Back
  • Tones Abdominal Organs

Asana Breakdown:

To get into this pose, begin in malasana firmly place your hands directly in front of you. Rooting down through your first three knuckles, begin to lift up onto the balls of your feet. As a beginner, you can begin to rock back and forth hear. Perhaps, holding the pose for only a second or two and then coming back to the ground. Allow the knees to draw in closely to the armpits as the shoulders move over the wrists, aligning with the middle finger. Draw your feet close to your glutes as you begin to work towards gradually straightening the arms. Once the arms are completely extended, you move from Crow to Crane! ❤

Pose of the Week: Peaceful Warrior

Peaceful Warrior.jpg

Peaceful Warrior

SHANTI VIRABHADRASANA

“There is no path to happiness. Happiness is the path. There is no path to love. Love is the path. There is no path to peace. Peace is the path.”

~Dan Millman

After the incredible amount of violence this week, it only seems fitting that the pose of the week would be peaceful warrior. I love that traditional yoga often centers around the warrior postures. It reminds us, we do not need vengeance to be strong. We do not need to inflict pain upon another to be triumphant. It reminds us that we do not count our victories as the number of wars have defeated on the battle field, but rather the amount of wars we have overcome within ourselves.

My heart goes out to those suffering right now at the hand of another. I feel so removed from that reality, I can only say this: The war stops externally, when the war stops internally. Peace is a choice. And it is possible. Do not lose faith. Do not lose your smile to grief. Draw inward and we will be triumphant. ❤

om shanti om shanti om shanti om.

Benefits of the Pose:

  • Strengthens the Legs
  • Stretches abdominal muscles and engages core
  • Stretches and supports the lungs
  • Opens Chest & Shoulder
  • Opens Heart

Asana Break Down:

Come into Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II), check your alignment with the front ankle. Make sure it is in alignment with the arch of the back foot. The back foot should be flat at a 45 degree angle. Bend deeply into the front knee. Make sure your front knee does not go past the front ankle. Draw the thighs together, squaring the hips, as if they were being pressed between two panes of glass. Arms should come out directly from the shoulder blades. Turn the hands towards the sky and bend backwards. Back and highly presses into the back leg. Most of the strength is being drawn from the core; the weight is not on the back knee. Open the chest and the heart lifts and spreads. Front arm comes over head, gaze comes towards the sky or the thumb.

 

Above, I have a chant you can say out loud or silently to yourself, either in this posture or sitting quietly. Om shanti translates into “om” the divine universe and “shanti” translates to peace, as a phrase it means may the divine creator, energy, and wisdom grant eternal peace to all things.

Curried Squash Soup

Soup curryBrothSquash in pancurry

Soup season is upon us! So much deliciousness in one giant pot! I just kind of made this one up as I went along and it turned out so good! So try it out for yourself and see if you like it!

I love soups because they are super affordable and make so so much. Plus it’s seems to be so nourishing to sit down to a nice piping hot bowl of soup.

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Ingredients

Broth

5 cups of Water

1/4 yellow onion

3 Carrots

1/2 cup Cabbage

1/2 cup Kale

Soup

1 Squash (any variety)

1 Large Yam

Vegan butter

Salt

Pepper

1/2 Yellow Onion

2-3 Carrots

1 can Coconut Milk (simple brand)

1/4 cup Madras Curry Peppery Coconut with Coriander Sauce

1 tsp Paprika

1 tbsp Cumin

1 tbsp Coriander

Toppings

Cilantro

Feta

Lemon or Lime

Avocado

Serves: 10-12

Side (optional)

Jasmine Rice

Time: 50-60 min

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Turn on the oven to 350 degrees. Take your squash and cut it in half (Or, if you have issues opening it, you can do what I did, which was drop it off my balcony to get it to crack open). Take out a baking pan and place the squash in it skin side down. Take a small scoop of vegan butter and place it in the middle of the squash. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and set it in the oven. Set the timer for 45 minutes.

Next, take out a bid pot and fill it with the water for your broth. You can, of course, just buy vegetable or chicken broth, but there’s no fun in that and this tastes way better! Chop up and peel yam, cut onion, carrots, cabbage, and kale or substitute any vegetable you would like to make the broth. Set on medium/ow heat. Cover with a lid and let cook for 45 minutes.

If you would like to serve with rice, in the last ten minutes on the timer, make about 1/4 cup of rice for every two people you want to serve. Have a 2:1 ratio of water. So if you preserving a family of four you would have 1/2 cup of rice and 1 cup of water. Put water in a pot on high heat. Add about 1 tbsp olive oil. Once boiling, add rice, cover with a lid, and put on medium/low heat for 10 minutes.

Once your squash is done and your broth is ready, take the squash out of the oven. Let it cool for a few minutes and then take off the peel. Place the squash in a blender, along with raw carrots and onion. Cover with the broth you just made and blend. It’s okay if you need to do several rounds to fit it all in your blender. Once all of the veggies are blended and in the big pot on medium heat, add a big pinch of salt and a big pinch of pepper. Add paprika, cumin, coriander, coconut milk and curry. If you can’t find this brand, use can definitely use another or add in regular curry powder (if using powder only add in 1-2 tbsp). Stir well and serve. If you would like, you can garnish with cilantro, feta, avocado, and squeeze lemon over it.

enjoy ❤

 

How to Move Forward: An Open Letter to Finding Comfort in Discomfort

Potensial

They say that the two of the most stressful things a person can endure are moving and the loss of someone close to you. On September 7th of this year my grandmother, a women whom I loved dearly and will miss eternally passed away. The grief still unfolds new for me everyday, unveiling a new layer of knowing the absence of her presence. Each day it becomes more clear that I can’t pick up the phone to call her, that I will never hear her Brooklyn accent, eat her roast beef, ride with her in the back of her cherry red car, or share my life with her. She was the most amazing listener and the dearest of grandmothers. When she passed, our cousin who lived near her said, “I want you to know that even though you live so far away, she breathed you everyday.” I remember hearing that and thinking to myself, “Wow. What a sacred thing to breathe someone.” To breathe someone, to know that no matter the distance, no matter the situation you are loved by one another. You are held by one another in a way that is as permanent and as impermanent as the breath.

In the coming weeks, I signed a lease with my boyfriend, Josh. We ended up in a beautiful little apartment right off Main St. I knew that it was because of her that we got the place. I just had a feeling: The odds of a college student with no credit and a mother as a second reference with a post-grad swamped with debt made us unlikely candidates. Yet here we are.

The idea of moving in together was not a new one, nor did it come into play silently without any debate. Very early in our relationship I decided moving in with Josh was something I wanted. For eight months I continued to nudge and ask for this move. Finally, Josh said yes. He saw part of him wanted to pursue our relationship in this way and that he needed to get away from his current living situation.

I have never lived with a partner before. Needless to say, everything feels entirely new and not entirely how I thought it would be. Everyday since we’ve moved in I have felt heavy in my heart, feeling as if I broke something that didn’t need to be fixed. I have yearned and yearned for my old room, my old house, and my old roommates, simply for the fact that they were familiar. Last night, my partner looked at me and said, “When are you going to arrive? I feel like I have been living here a week and my roommate hasn’t showed up.”

Crushed by my self guilt and the notion that I am letting him down, I recalled a conversation I had with my mentor earlier that evening. With loving eyes and little detail of my situation she said, “Expectations take you out of the present. You cannot find happiness where expectations lie. Furthermore, you’ve signed a year-long commitment with this person so you need to give it your 100%. By the time your lease is up you will know what you need to do.”

All of this leads up to writing this post this morning. I flashed back to the moment another yoga mentor of mine told me in the most arduous of poses, “This is life, right? It’s so painful and uncomfortable, but it’s all about how you approach it.”

So yes, happenings like death and moving may be some of the most stressful things one can endure, amongst many others. However it is not our circumstances that define our quality of life, but the way we choose to navigate them that counts. I noticed, the most painful things require a great deal of adaptability, for it is great change, I believe, that haunts us most in this life. Still, each day is a choice to stay in Duhka (suffering) or find Dharana (contentment). Finding contentment is a continual practice, one that takes conscious and undivided effort. It begins with showing up in the midst of discomfort and knowing that is shall pass. Knowing that change will change again and it’s all about how you approach it, so you may as well enjoy the ride.

grandma

Dedicated to Shirley Klein Harwood