Honestly, I can’t think of anything more beautiful than a delicious morning yoga flow on crisp Fall day and somehow the day only got better!
Experienced some beautiful Fall colours:
Brunch, with an R juste pour moi, at Wish Cafe ;) :
Scrumptious grilled Nutella sandwich with raspberry compote, nom, nom:
Followed by a stroll through Yorkville where I scored a great pair of houndstooth pants and gold coloured top :)
And all this brought this song to mind:
Catch the Sun - Doves
Be thankful that you don’t already have everything you desire,
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?
Be thankful when you don’t know something
For it gives you the opportunity to learn.
Be thankful for the difficult times.
During those times you grow.
Be thankful for your limitations
Because they give you opportunities for improvement.
Be thankful for each new challenge
Because it will build your strength and character.
Be thankful for your mistakes
They will teach you valuable lessons.
Be thankful when you’re tired and weary
Because it means you’ve made a difference.
It is easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who are
also thankful for the setbacks.
GRATITUDE can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles
and they can become your blessings.
“We attain freedom as we let go of whatever does not reflect our magnificence. A bird cannot fly high or far with a stone tied to its back. But release the impediment, and we are free to soar to unprecedented heights.” —Alan Cohen, owner of the Florida Panthers.
To all my family and friends, may you enjoy a very happy #Diwali & prosperous New Year! Wishing you all the brightest moments Diwali can bring!
So, you have made an intention to start Yoga at the studio across your home for months now, but haven’t done it yet? Chances are that you were dissuaded by one of the following reasons:
– Apprehension about practicing Yoga amidst a group of strangers
– Fear of not being able to cope with ‘difficult’ Yoga asanas
– Lack of time
– Very high charges of personal trainers or some such reason that essentially deterred you from enrolling for a Yoga programme. Perhaps you were even discouraged after a trial run with Yoga, coming to believe that it was just not for you.
However, it has been long established that Yoga is suitable for people of all age groups, and medical conditions. It is infact, the most basic of wellness practices that seeks to attain for its practitioners, a holistic development of their physical, mental and spiritual attributes.
Yet, very often, in a Yoga programme of the types being conducted across the world today – in groups in studios – the essence of Yoga is coming to be somewhat diluted. Mild and holistic, the practice of Yoga is as much about spiritual development as it is about physical fitness. While it is appreciable to note the setting up of multiple centres offering Yoga services and its consequent popularity, it is not practical to seek the complete benefits of this form of holistic development amongst a group of people in a purely commercial establishment.
Yoga works through several disciplines such as body alignment, breathing patterns, meditation, etc, all of which require regulated movements and individual objectivity – a practice best achieved in solidarity with oneself and the instructor and not entirely plausible in a one-to-many setting, typical of a Yoga class at a studio.
This is where personalized Yoga training comes in, an offering that combines the best of Yoga’s benefits with individual convenience to bring to its practitioner a unique fitness regime that is hard-to-miss. Apart from its apparent benefits such as anytime-anywhere practice, personalized Yoga training has a lot of other unstated offerings that you must consider before enrolling yourself in any other group programme:
Listen to your body
In this universe, nothing is identical. Similarly, each human being is different from the other in the way of their physical compositions as well as their emotional and psychological levels. No two people can fulfill such needs of their mind or body by taking the same approach to wellness and personal development.
Your reason for practicing Yoga may differ vastly from the next person’s. While you may be seeking improved flexibility, another member might be looking for a specific solution to resolve a breathing problem. In such a situation, practicing a common Yoga regime might hardly prove beneficial to either individual. Unless you are willing to pay big bucks, Yoga studios rarely offer customized training suited to every individual’s specific needs. Their services are based on a one-size-fits-all model and the effectiveness of the practice is thus diminished.
Personalized Yoga classes on the other hand allow an individual to maximize their practice by communicating with the instructor their bodily requirements and ailments.
Practice makes perfect
While the belief that Yoga asanas are ‘difficult’ is not entirely correct, it is true that Yoga does need a strict control on one’s regimes and adherence to regulations in order to reap its complete benefits. The emphasis of a Yoga instructor on a pupil is far less when his attention is divided amongst a group of people. Thus, it is not always that an individual can hope to understand exactly where he/ she might be going wrong and try to improve their practice. In a personalized session, your Yoga teacher is always there to observe and correct you, as you practice. They can observe your body’s limitations during the poses and can mould a pose specifically to help you perform it better.
One with self
The Yogic text Hath Yog Pradipika says:
Na veshadharanam siddheh karanam na ca tatkatha/
Kriyaiva karanam siddheh satyemetanna samsayah//66//
Wearing a (particular type of) dress does not bring success; nor does talking about it (Yoga).
Practicing alone brings success; this undoubtedly is the truth.
Invariably, an individual’s attention while in a group setting is on several factors from the people around them to the clothes one wears to the way one behaves. This very human instinct of distraction is against the discipline of Yoga, which propagates an environment of calm and concentration in order to help you attain spiritual insight.
In a personalized session, your focus is on your senses, your breathing, your instructor and your solidarity. You are a lot more at ease with the asanas that you perform and are looking to improve with every move that you make.
You versus you
It is often said that ‘success is nothing but the consequence of effort and confidence.’
The same is applicable to Yogic practice as well. While practicing Yoga, it is important to accept oneself (body, mind, emotion) the way it is and to believe that it is indeed the best way to be.
In a group, one typically tends to compare themselves with those around them. Perhaps unintentionally, but one might end up progressing a competition of sorts with a fellow practitioner, often forgetting their body’s unique limitations. This could be injurious to one’s body as well as self-esteem.
A personalized session allows one to compete with oneself. To set their own goals and to be confident of achieving them in their own unique way. It is only then, that one can truly benefit from Yoga.
Thus, if you are looking to ‘Yoga’, look for a personalized program to give yourself the best that can be.
Yes, many yoga poses were derived after observing animals in their natural habitat. I mean it’s no coincidence we have asanas called Downward Dog, Eagle, Cat and even Cow to name just a few, but a growing movement in the yoga world has been doga (pronounced just like yoga, but with a d). Some may call doga the ultimate yuppie experience, but it begs the question, have we gone too far?
I recently took advantage of a complimentary class to see what the fuss was about. According to the brochure, “doga combines massage and meditation with gentle stretching for dogs and their human partners.” This particular doga class also combined obedience training; unfortunately, my dog was more interested in playing with the other dogs than listening to me.
Instructed by a trained yoga teacher, we started the class much like any other yoga class, in mountain pose while we instructed our dogs to stay by our sides. We then moved on to the importance of the breath, warrior one and then triangle. We also incorporated a few bouts of walking meditation which my dog took as an invitation to chase the other dogs, so not very relaxing!
Overall it was an interesting concept, but I highly doubt I’d return. Don’t get me wrong, I love my dog and like most dog owners I wish he was constantly by my side, however, one of the reasons I practice yoga is for its ability to centre my thoughts and help focus my attention inward, otherwise known as pratyahara. With my vata disposition it can be difficult to obey the second sutra from the first chapter of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, Yoga citta vritti nirodhah which states that “the cessation of the thought waves is yoga”. Once in the flow though it’s as if all those bothersome thoughts just fade away.
Yoga is my ‘me’ time so I’ll continue to fly solo so I can then enjoy the other loves in my life, like my sweet, yet excitable doggy!
I began my day with a beautiful yoga class where we were asked to dedicate our flow to something that we were thankful for. By the end of the day I realized that it’s really the simple things in life that make each moment great.
Sometimes we get so caught up in just getting through our days that we forget those little things that make life awesome, like preparing a delicious feast with a good friend.
Unfortunately, when we’re in rush we don’t take the time to prepare real food so if you’re looking for inspiration here’s a sample of the deliciousness we cooked up today!
Thai-spiced Pumpkin Soup
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 14-ounce can coconut milk
1 teaspoon (or more) curry powder
fine grain sea salt to taste
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and place the oven racks in the middle.
Carefully cut each pumpkin into halves (or quarters). Slather each piece of squash with butter, sprinkle generously with salt, place on a baking sheet skin sides down, and place in the oven. Roast for about an hour or until the squash is tender throughout.
When the pumpkin are cool enough to handle scoop it into a large pot over medium high heat. Add the coconut milk and curry paste and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat and puree with a hand blender, you should have a very thick base at this point. Now add water a cup at a time pureeing between additions until the soup is the consistency you prefer - a light vegetable stock would work here as well. Bring up to a simmer again and add the salt (and more curry paste if you like, I used just shy of 6 teaspoons but the curry paste I use is not over-the-top spicy).
Plum & Ricotta Flatbread
1/2 cup light ricotta
2 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp finely grated orange zest
3 ripe plums, pitted and thinly sliced
2 tbsp brown sugar, firmly packed
2 tbsp melted butter
1 tsp ground cardamom
Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C). In a small bowl, combine the ricotta, maple syrup and orange zest. Spread mixture on the flatbread. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, toss the plums, brown sugar, butter and cardamom to coat evenly. Arrange the plum slices on the flatbread and drizzle with any liquid left in the bowl.
Bake directly on middle rack of oven for 12 min., until golden. Cool slightly before slicing into 8 wedges. Sprinkle with thyme and serve warm or at room temperature.
For our main we had a Jamie Oliver inspired macaroni and cauliflower cheese bake with a side of greens (including edible flowers!) and a glass of perfectly chilled white wine.
Bon Appétit & Happy Thanksgiving!
Ca commence, la folie furieuse!!! Christmas Day for hockey fans :) #GoHabsGo