This quote by the great master of Aikido, Morihei Ueshiba, is a perfect, succinct and exact description of why we engage in practice. Practice, whether this be martial arts training, qi gong, tai chi, yoga asana, or some other discipline, is all about coming to center. Aligned in the central axis, we practice to elevate and sharpen our awareness so we can then discern and act with precise compassionate consciousness.
In Kundalini Yoga, there is this exercise called “ego eradicator.” It basically consists of sitting upright with the arms extended in a wide V overhead, finger tucked into the palms, thumbs stretched out as if they could draw an arc over the head, eyes closed and rolled up at the brow point while you do 3 minutes of vigorous Breath of Fire. It’s a great way to open the lungs for pranayama and to clear the sinuses. It takes a little bit of effort to maintain the arm position properly for 3 minutes, but like most things, it’s really mind over matter!
I’ve never quite understood the name though. I’ve been doing this little practice for a few years and my ego is fully in tact. But, thank heavens, I’ve found something else that seems to be doing the trick in terms of ego annihilation and it is that pesky Intermediate Series pose, dwi pada sirsasana.
I used to be a full-on almond girl. Almond milk, almond butter, almond flour, almonds in my granola/trail mix/salads/wherever. I still think almonds are awesome…but recently I’ve fallen in love, like madly and deeply, with hazelnuts.
Hazelnuts are sweet, rich and a bit unexpected. They add a certain depth to a salad. Try some roasted hazelnuts with goat cheese, arugula and maybe some thinly sliced pears or rasberries – heaven!
The other night, in a melancholy mood, I bought myself ten stems of red peonies. They brought a smile to my face and then I discovered this perfect Mary Oliver poem so I had to share it with you.
Blessings for a beautiful, joyful weekend, dear readers.
When I excitedly began planning my own wedding at the end of 2011, I had a dirty little secret: I was thrilled that I finally had the perfect excuse to get really skinny again.
I don’t think I’m alone here; many women work very hard to lose weight for their wedding, it’s almost expected that you do nowadays. Why?
After a very fun winter of bopping around Colorado and the jaunt to India, we are now really getting settled in Denver. It feels so nice to nest, to decorate and to make this place feel like “home.” Thad has started acupuncture school and I’m networking up the wazoo with florists and other wedding industry folks, getting ready to start working on some pretty pretty events this summer! Our puppy Artemis is still painfully cute and her nippy teeth are even more painful, but she’s potty trained and walking well on the leash, so let’s celebrate the small victories!
Tulsi, also known as Holy Basil, is a very powerful and sacred plant. Indiginous to India, parts of northern and eastern Africa as well as Taiwan, it is cultivated today all over Southeast Asia. It is also grown and venerated in Hindu temples around the world. If you’ve ever been to a Vaishnava temple, you will see the beautiful Tulsi-devi plant being lovingly cared for. Next to the lotus, tulsi is the most sacred plant in India. Tulsi-devi is regarded as a goddess and a consort to Lord Vishnu. Pujas and prayers are performed to her and the tulsi leaves are taken as a sacrament.
As a yoga teacher, practitioner and massage therapist, I fully appreciate, advocate and depend on good bodywork in order to live and work from a place of balance and wellness. Acupuncture, chiropractic, massage, cranio-sacral therapy: these modalities, among others, have assisted me in healing from concussions, infections, sprains, strains, popped-out ribs, headaches, depression and more.
That said, sometimes I forget to take care of myself. Sometimes I don’t want to spend that money, even if I know it will make me feel better faster. Sometimes I just hope that if I ignore the problem, it will disappear. Indeed, time can heal many wounds, but giving the body a little extra TLC certainly expedites that process.
I adore the sweet, exotic fragrance and taste of rose water. It’s such an evocative flavor for me, reminding me of gulab jamun and Turkish delights.
Last night I created a sweet and tangy fruit and yogurt dish that I loved so much, I wanted to share this (non)recipe with you immediately!
I’m not super into the whole popular modern yoga look. I don’t wear the neon luon nor the flowy Ganesha shirts and the many layers of malas. But…if I looked and lived like Christy Turlington, I would always do Second Series in a satin jumpsuit. Anyways, that’s besides the point. Despite my dislike of both the hippy-dippy yoga flow look and the obnoxiously bright and sporty spandex route, I don’t do my asana practice naked.
Clothes are part of the deal and having the right clothes for my practice helps. I learned the lesson the hard way. In my naive, pre-Ashtanga days, I bought these two overpriced (but very pretty!) yoga tops that just didn’t cut it when you’re a C cup and actually doing repeated vinyasas. Pop! Yea, that’s a bit distracting. As is the tugging and readjusting of ill-fitting tights or straps in the middle of an asana.