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April 245 2021 Being Present - Living in Harmony - Vegan Cheese Sauce That Actually Tastes Good

Thinking about our this week, I decided not to focus on a specific pose but more on the the

topic of not taking ourselves too seriously when we practice. In raising this topic, I am talking to myself as much as I am talking to you. I have found myself getting frustrated when my balance is off or getting aggravated when I edit a video and think that my pose is not “looking good”. I have made progress but have work to do. I know this wisdom in my heart and find it so obvious to share with my students, when it comes to myself, my wisdom evaporates.

As I have mentioned often, I love the book Heart of Yoga by T.K.V. Desikachar. In the book he describes important elements of an asana practice, beginning where we are at a particular time; linking breath and movement; consciously making our breath full and deep; and feeling the breath during practice as a form of meditation and paying attention. I think we focus much on the physical part of the practice, which is indeed important, but when we remain present, focus on the breath we will realize as Desikachar says that “much more important than these outer manifestations is the way we feel the postures and the breath”.

If we remain focused as we practice on our breath and being completely present with our practice, that is yoga as it should be and a nurturing, wonderful practice will evolve-and it does not matter what it looks like. If we are only half present and spend the class going through the motions, then we are likely not getting much from our practice other than a little exercise. This is not a terrible thing but just something to think about as we evolve and grow our practice.

As we move through our life, the focus on always being present will continue to challenge us. How many of us are on a zoom meeting, simultaneously checking email or some other multi-tasking effort? I think we all know that the direct result is that nothing of quality comes from those experiences and we find ourselves less than engaged. How many of us do something we love like walking, flying a kite, having dinner with friends and then spend moments trying to perfectly document it for social media? All I am suggesting is that we try to remain a little bit more present in all that we do, whether it is speaking to a friend, writing an email, or practicing yoga. Be fully engaged (or try to be) in all that you do, one thing at a time, and pay attention to the results! Would love to hear your thoughts.

Meditation on Social Justice

"Woodstock was not about sex, drugs, and rock and roll. It was about spirituality, about love, about sharing, about helping each other, living in peace and harmony." Richie Havens⁠

I am still thinking about that visit and pondering both on the silly and the serious. Thinking a lot about the social justice that many were fighting for in 1969 and what has really changed? Sadly, I fear that recent years have set us substantially backward and it makes me incredibly sad.⁠

Suggest that today we focus on the meditative side of our yoga practice and send peace and love and change out into the world. And, then get off our butts and help make it the best it can be! One kind word at a time.⁠

Nurturing With Food - Vegan “Cheese” Sauce That Actually Tastes Good

So…. Let’s face it, there is no actual cheese substitute that is as good tasting as cheese, or at least I have not found it. A couple of years ago I took dairy out of my diet and I feel good. More on that another time. Recently, I began experimenting with recipes for sauces and spreads to fill the cheese void and have had some mediocre results. In fact, I have decided that a lot of things are simply better without the “cheese” if you are not having the real thing. However, sometimes you just need some creamy cheesy-like sauce and I think the recipe below is the best I have made. It keeps well in the refrigerator or freezer and you can thin it with vegetable broth or nondairy milk, use the thicker version as a dip or as queso on nachos. It also can be spiced and flavored many ways. I had made this sauce as part of a casserole recipe with brown rice and broccoli (pretty good) but the sauce was the real keeper.

Full disclosure, if you have no issue with dairy and you love a creamy alfredo, this will not cut it. BUT it is pretty darn good. I had a craving for creamy pasta with frozen peas and had this sauce leftover from the other recipe…. I was incredibly happy!

See you on the mat


Julia Anne

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