Pigeon Pose and the directions of depth

The other day in pigeon pose, a couple words repeated in this monkey mind. DEEP. DEPTH. 

When off the mat, I was compelled to write “Depth isn’t always downward. The depth of a projection outward. The depth of a hug & leaning in to someone or something. The depth of evolving spiritually. The depth of intention.” I was able to pull from this the many directions of depth. Once seen as only moving downward, you know…deep into the earth. Now seen as multi-dimensional. Depth isn’t always downward.

As I love to do, looking up the word depth in the dictionary it is found in a noun form to mean 1 of 2 things:

  1. The distance from the top or surface of something to its bottom.
  2. Distance from the nearest to the farthest point of something or from the front to the back.

Practicing poses on a mat (aka as Karma Yoga) continues to offer profound influences to my life. Deepening my desire to stop posing and start living! Deepening my vision of living out my ideal life. Don’t get me wrong, laying in pigeon pose is indeed not so comfortable at first. Which helps me remember that in life, experiences that are the most uncomfortable are usually the ones that propel us to make the deepest change or growth. So when life throws curves, fastballs or humps (whatev descriptive words you chose), remember there is a top with a bottom, a front with back and a rise with a fall. A nice reminder is that sometimes we have to get off our own backs. Ease into something that is deep and uncomfortable. And be kind to ourselves as we deal with what we find in it as well as when we come out of it.

So get deep into the funk that lies within this pose and see what offerings it has for you.

**This blog is not intended (not for the time being anyway) to teach or guide or strut yoga poses, which is why there are no photos of this pose included in the post. What my pigeon pose looks like is most likely not what yours looks like. However, if you are curious about the physical aspects of the pose, use your search engine and you will find a TON of varieties. Also, yogajournal.com is a great resource for more information on basic yoga poses. http://www.yogajournal.com/basics/2313

Dressings. 3 easy, affordable, delicious dressing recipes

This post is all about dressings. Notice, the word salad doesn’t come before dressings. Why? Because salads aren’t the only foods that can be dressed. Veggies, pastas, fruit, sandwiches, and fish/meat. All dress-able! Read on for tips on ways to play with color and flavor and dress up those dishes.

Most of us crave salads, fruits, cooling foods in the summer time. Most of us tend to get bored with the same ol’ salad and dressing. What we don’t realize is making our own dressings cuts out a lot of the fat and adds a lot more flavor. Plus you can customize to your liking. Plus you are eliminating unnecessary toxins entering your body through preservatives in the pre-packaged, processed dressings on shelves. Don’t get me wrong, for the sake of time, our house has purchased dressing from the store at least once this year. However, we much rather make it at home. Here are a few of our staples:

1. Citrus – squeezing citrus is one of the quickest way to add fresh flavor to any dish or drink. When I was younger, and much too concentrated on eating a low-fat diet, I use to squeeze lemon on salads. Still do on days my body screams “feed me whole, simple foods please!” On days I need a little more, I’ll whip up a citrus inspired oil:

Citrus oil dressing

In a bowl, whisk fresh lemon juice (lime or orange works too), olive oil, minced garlic, honey or agave, sea salt, and pepper. VOILA!

2. Vinaigrette – LOVE vinaigrettes! Lately, my favorite is dijon. Versatile and ready for grilled veggies or salad.

Dijon Vinaigrette

Makes 1 1/4 cups. Will last up to 1 week in fridge. Whisk all ingredients or put into jar with sealable lid and shake!

1/4 cup dijon mustard

1/4 cup olive oil

3 tablespoons agave (light or dark, depending on your preference)

3 garlic cloves, finely minced

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar (sherry vinegar also works well)

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Speedy Dijon Vinaigrette

Find an infused vinegar (fig or raspberry) and mix with a few tablespoons of Dijon mustard.

3. Herb inspired – basil, parsley, cilantro, mint… all great herbs to utilize in homemade dressings. Chimichurri (usually a green sauce made up of parsley, oregano, lemon zest, and oil, used for grilled meat) is one of my all time favorites to use as inspiration.

Creamy Cilantro

Makes about 3/4 cup. **May turn to brown color if using avocado.

1 cup loosely packed cilantro, rinsed & stems removed

1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt OR 1 avocado

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

1-2 garlic cloves

Splash of vinegar (white wine vinegar goes well)

1/4 cup olive oil

Salt to taste

photo-25

A creamy avocado sauce on top of veggie enchiladas!

So the bottom line here is to have fun and get innovative with what you have around to add pizzazz! One last tip to share…a dear friend of mine years ago made a dressing that blew my taste buds away! She used olive oil, high quality mustard, jelly, and spices. I have yet to recreate one that was as good as hers but I have not given up.

What tips can you share?

Corpse pose (Savasana) and the fullness it holds

4-15-10  In Savasana, I thought of dead people. The way their faces are relaxed & at rest. The form of the mouth as breath no longer moves through. And I laughed. The thought of death…being so beautiful. And I cried (somewhat common when practicing this pose). The celebration of life being so joyful.

This writing came out of me 7 months after the death of my father and 1 day after being at my first yoga training. Yet the experience is always with me. Finding my way through life experiences, aware of, yet not clinging to…

This pose is often found at the ending of a yoga class. However, it is also the pose that begins and ends each day. We lie down to rest. We wake up from rest. And yet resting is either so difficult for some to accept or so scary for some to think about that we hardly revel in the juiciness resting provides.

I was wondering what the heck to write about this week. So I step upon my mat, do a little physical work, and it comes to me while resting. As I re-read the above journal entry and experienced a nasty head cold that forced me to rest, the life experience presented itself the perfect blog topic.

The past year and a half continues to astonish me. The leaping, risking, communicating, gut-fine tuning, AND resting to name a few…the on-going gifts that are paving this journey for now. As a yoga teacher, I choose to end each class guiding others through a resting period. Presenting the opportunity to pay attention to what is arising (INSIGHT) and then letting go of attachment to arising thoughts, feelings, etc. (SURRENDER). AHA! So that the experience is always with us, try paying more attention to what is arising and then let that shit go! Sound difficult? Commit to trying it out. See what happens. Let me know by leaving a comment for this blog.

many versions of Savasana, yet the basics are:

  • lie in a neutral position, preferably back flat against floor, mat or carpet and legs extended long. IF BACK INJURY OR PAIN, bend knees and feet flat on floor, hip-distance apart or support the knees with a bolster, or stacked pillows/blankets.
  • working to dissipate the sense organs by softening the roof of the mouth, letting go of tension in jaw, relaxing eyebrows & skin of forehead, letting the eyes sink back to the back of the head
  • maintain neutral breathing
  • rest for at least 5 minutes
  • to come out of pose: with an exhale, gently roll onto either side, take a couple breaths, with another exhale, press hands into the floor and lift torso as the head gently follows