April 30,2023–Embracing Spring–Vikasita Kamalasana (Flowering Lotus Pose)–Black Bean Stew(and more!)
I love spring, the spring that is warm and sunny, not the spring that is rainy and dreary. So often, New England jumps from winter right to summer with no real spring. This year, since we did not really have much winter, spring has felt more like an actual season. As I write this, however, it is dreary and rainy; I am focusing on the memory of the sunshine earlier in the week and the beautiful budding tulips and the remains of the daffodils here at Rockbriar Farm. We know that the deer love tulips, so have planted many in a fenced area. Randomly, however, some remain in the gardens and the deer appear to have missed them. Maybe they are distracted by the delicious hostas?
Let’s think about spring in our practice this week! Perhaps push the activity level up in your personal practice, incorporating some invigorating (cleansing) twists and some extra vinyasas! Get outside and do a walking meditation, embracing the sights and smells of spring. Very soon we will move classes (where possible and weather permitting) back into the blooming gardens. In the meantime, if you can do some yoga outside on your own, it can be a beautiful way to embrace the change of seasons.
Our Practice – Flowering Lotus Pose - Vikasita Kamalasana
As we focus on spring and spring flowers, we will revisit Flowering Lotus Pose - It is a fun pose to try and is a variation of traditional lotus pose. This pose uses core strength and hip opening while helping us work on balance and focus. It also opens our chest, strengthens lower back. You may feel energized after doing this pose.
Come to Baddha Konasana (bound angle pose), bending knees and bringing soles of your feet together. Sit with tall spine with your crown to the sky.
Inhaling, engage your core and lift your legs rocking back on your sitting bones and balancing.
Weave your arms under your legs, lifting your chest squeezing shoulder blades and work on keeping spine straight.
Gaze upward if it feels ok in your neck and imagine you are a blossoming flower.
For more on this pose here is a new article:
I also include a link that I shared previously which discusses this and other flower inspired yoga poses by Bloomon.
Meditating on Spring – Daffodils by William Wordsworth
I read many poems preparing this blog hoping to find something new which expressed the joy of spring, especially early spring plants and flowers. After quite a bit, I came back to this one that I just love.
I wandered lonely as a cloud That floats on high o'er vales and hills, When all at once I saw a crowd, A host, of golden daffodils; Beside the lake, beneath the trees, Fluttering and dancing in the breeze. Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way, They stretched in never-ending line Along the margin of a bay: Ten thousand saw I at a glance, Tossing their heads in sprightly dance. The waves beside them danced, but they Out-did the sparkling waves in glee: A poet could not be but gay, In such a jocund company: I gazed'and gazed'but little thought What wealth the show to me had brought: For oft, when on my couch I lie In vacant or in pensive mood, They flash upon that inward eye Which is the bliss of solitude; And then my heart with pleasure fills, And dances with the daffodils.
Meditation - Unknown
“Spring cleaning isn’t just about sorting through things and getting rid of clutter. It’s about taking stock of who you are, and how others see you. It’s a chance to redefine yourself, to change expectations, and to remember that it’s never too late to recapture who you were, or to aim for who you want to be.”
Nurturing with Food – Black Bean Stew
As an (almost) vegan, I am always looking for ways to incorporate all varieties of beans into my diet. I sprinkle chickpeas on salads, make vegan chili, and love black beans in soup. Having spent a lot of time in Mexico, I learned the value of always having a pot of beans on the back burner in case you need black bean stew, soup, or dip! They are such a versatile, healthy, and delicious food. I am partial to cilantro and related flavors, but you can choose many ways to flavor them to fit your palate. This recipe link is for the stew (which I serve over brown rice) but can serve as a base for soup (thinned out with broth).
See you on the mat!