I'll admit it, I love poses that most people hate. I get some kind of weird pleasure from these poses. One of my absolute favorites is janu sirsasana C. I have always been able to do some approximation of the pose, but it has really developed over time.
When I first learned the pose a little over six years ago, my foot felt a sharp pain in the toes and my knee wouldn't go to the ground. I remember the first time Scott Page looked over at me and told me my knee should go to the ground; I couldn't wrap my head around how that was even possible. As time passed, I started to figure out some tricks to the pose and it is those tricks that have made it one of my favorites.
Has anyone tried this recipe from last week?!?! So flippin good!
Who is excited for fall?!? This girl is!!! I woke up this morning and it was 70 degrees….no, this is not a typo! So fabulous. I love the fall in Phoenix. it’s the time when people finally decide it’s safe to venture outside again (you know, the non-overachievers amongst us who don’t go running up mountains all summer), and, of course, we get to start cooking cool weather recipes!!!
I’m here to tell you that the idea of cool weather recipes being heavy, cream filled, calorie laden food is now officially antiquated. The internet is full of amazing cool weather recipes that still TASTE like they have a lot of calories, but they don’t. It’s like magic! It also 100% embodies my healthy…ish lifestyle. Of course, I will share those recipes with you, my dear readers! So, without further ado, here are this week’s recipes:
I am a high school teacher. I teach in a mostly affluent neighborhood with pretty amazing students. I absolutely love what I do, but one thing I’ve been noticing lately is my students have a fixed mindset. Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck, in her book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success has looked at how the power of our beliefs, both conscious and unconscious can have a profound impact on nearly every aspect of our lives. I’ve been talking to my students about this a lot. I spent a whole week of my English class explaining to them what it is, reading articles with them, and trying to convince them that having a growth mindset can change the way they think and make them more successful.
As I was talking about this idea, changing their mindset, with my students I started to talk about my daily ashtanga practice. Ashtanga has transformed my life in many ways, but I think that one of the most important things ashtanga has done for me is to help me have more of a growth mindset. I sometimes fall into the trap of a fixed mindset. I get stuck in life and in yoga, sometimes literally. In the past year or so I have had two major yoga breakthroughs: I have figured out how to lift up out of bhujapidasana without using my feet and I have learned how to stand up from a backbend. For the longest time, I felt like I was glued to the ground. People would give me tips, but I was stuck. And then one day I wasn’t. I have definitely thought that I would not figure out how to do these things, but then I did.
So…. How were those recipes last week? Anyone try them out? Feel free to comment with any of your own recipe tweaks.
My favorite recipe from last week was surprisingly the ricotta toast….. it was so easy and tasty! The tomato soup was a close second….yum!
This week I am thoroughly embracing the healthy…ish lifestyle because I have plans to go out to eat….like a lot. When I go out to eat, I try not to worry too much about what I order…. I mean, I hate to pay 12$ for a salad I could easily make at home. I order whatever sounds good to me and then make sure I take home at least half of the food (unless it’s a fancy shmancy place that has super tiny portions…you know what I’m talking about). This is a win win because I eat fewer calories (still plenty I’m sure), and I get to enjoy the food a second time for lunch.
Here’s the plan:
Numerous positive health benefits come from having a daily Yoga routine. Initial noticeable improvements from the practice involve physical, mental and psychological aspects in everyday living. Starting the day with a wholesome Yoga routine will also result in making healthier choices throughout the day, including; better eating habits, increased vitality and how to respond more positively in unpredictable circumstances. But, by far, one of the greatest gifts anyone will ever encounter from Yoga is the unavoidable dealing with pain.
Welcome back dear readers! We are nearing the end of summer…. Or we would be if we lived anywhere other than Phoenix…. Which means it’s time for fabulous late summer produce!!! Can’t you feel the excitement? This is the time of year when they start selling sweet delicious corn for 10 cents an ear and they practically give away tomatoes. It is fairly glorious and has inspired my menu for the week.
A quick note on my menus: The last few years I’ve been cooking mostly vegetarian with some vegan recipes and the occasional meat recipe…. I always make sure there’s protein in my veggie meals in some way and I do like tofu BUT I generally refuse to eat fake meat… it’s just not for me….. so sometimes I need to get creative. As time goes on, you’ll see what I mean. Without further ado, here is this week’s menu:
I love to travel. It is absolutely one of my favorite things (I know I am not alone), but I worry about where I will practice. I miss my home studio, but I love getting to find a new place to study. When I find out I am going somewhere new, the first thing I do is try to find a good studio to visit. I go to google and search, search, search. Sometimes I find my home away from home quickly, but other times it is a struggle. This last summer I had two awesome opportunities to spread my wings and travel to places I had never been to before.
First, I went to Australia. For the first week and a half I stayed with my family near Brisbane and then we headed to the Sunshine Coast. I had to practice in my nephew’s bedroom/a garage (luckily, the garage was pretty empty, so I didn’t have to fight with a car for space, but I forgot my travel mat back at my cousin's house 2 hours away, so I got up each day to practice on a beach towel), but it was hard. I don’t like to practice alone and I really feed off the energy of a studio, but I got up each day and did my practice.
Moderation. You hear about this a lot.... But what is moderation? To me, moderation means making (fairly) healthy meals that are packed with nutrients and still being able to eat pizza or cupcakes if I want to. Moderation means not depriving myself of the foods I love but balancing these more decadent meals with delicious homemade healthy meals.
In short, moderation means eating healthy.....ish.
I started living a healthy ish lifestyle a little over 5 years ago. I had just graduated from grad school and was transitioning to my true adult life. I was overweight from eating almost exclusively at restaurants and drinking lattes daily over 6 years of college. I considered myself to be a ‘foodie’ (and still do), but I knew I had to make a change. I already did some exercise (the occasional hot yoga, piyo, treadmill, stuff like that), but that wasn’t doing much for me. I had cooked in the past but never in a mindful way. I always cooked way too much and would therefore eat WAY too much. So here's what I did:
I have been practicing Mysore for quite some time now, after trying all kinds of yoga. I like Mysore because I can practice as early as 4:30 am. My practice means so much to me. I started doing yoga as merely exercise and little by little it has transformed into an emotional, physical, and spiritual practice.
My practice has really challenged me, especially when it comes to Marichyasana D. It has taken me what it feels like a lifetime to figure it out. Practice paid off and finally one day I got it, thanks to the encouragement of my instructors, tips from my yoga mates, my daily practice, and changes in my daily life (I have to confess that losing a pound here and there really helps). I am so proud of myself for showing up everyday on my mat.
At AYP we are a community of yoga practitioners who are dedicated to the ashtanga yoga method. Our hope with this blog is that we, as a community, can share who we are and what we are passionate about. Whether it be our favorite recipes, our trials and tribulations (or growth) with the practice, a favorite pose or two, or our thoughts on life, we will share it here. We can't wait to share our worlds with you and grow both in the yoga room and in our practice off our mat. We hope you enjoy the journey, and if you are a member of AYP and would like to contribute to our blog, please reach out to Cindy, Lissa or Jen, or drop us a message here on our website and we will contact you to set up your contribution to this community endeavor. We look forward to seeing you in the Mysore room and be on the look out for our first official blog!
We are a community of Ashtanga yoga practitioners who blog about the things we love.