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December 10-Mindfulness Redux-Paschimottanasana-Seated Forward Fold-Cranberry Orange Muffins

The seed for my blog is planted from many places – perhaps a conversation, a random incident, or a lovely reading I hear. It also comes, more times than not, from something I am thinking about relative to my own life and feel like sharing it with our community. Inspired often by my own constant personal mantra of living my yoga off the mat. So, for this week, here goes: I think a lot about being a yogi and not walking the walk. In fact, I sometimes wonder if I am some sort of imposter. I know the tools and talk about it a lot, but you can certainly find me multitasking myself into oblivion rather than enjoying a mindful moment. I am also guilty of not always being kind in an argument instead of remembering to “remember we can only control how we react not what others say to us” (from the Four Agreements). Not all the time of course, I do think that as I have grown in my practice, I have softened my edges and have learned the power of saying nothing. I have incorporated good habits around being present. I do, sometimes, however, fall victim to my emotions and to my monkey mind. While confessing this, I imagine what I would tell a fellow yogi that would say this to me. I would and do say to us all, cut yourself some slack. Do your best. Try and try again. This week’s practice is dedicated to mindfulness. Slowing down. Appreciating the moment.  I recognize it is similar to last week’s chat about enjoying the ride rather than focusing on the end game of the holiday season. Ok, so I am doubling down on that theme, it is one I am constantly learning and relearning. Living our yoga off the mat.


Attached is a wonderfully brief article about simple ways to ease mindfulness into our lives. It is also eye opening in its simple rationale about busyness. Simply put we are not busy because of the length of our to-do list but because of our thoughts about it!  I am going to try the suggestions this week, feel free to comment on the blog and let me know if you tried it and how it worked out!


Our Practice – Paschimottanasana/Seated Forward Fold: 


The pose is grounding and is a wonderful one to help us make our way into meditation, especially after a flowing yoga practice, a run, walk or some other vigorous physical movement. Physical benefits of the forward fold are the stretching of the whole back side of the body: the heels, calves, hamstrings, hips, lower back, upper back, and shoulders!


The forward folds are also said to be beneficial in massaging internal abdominal organs and thus aid in improving digestion and speeding metabolism. They help us feel grounded as we cool down and move into a relaxing state.


  • Start in dandasana, staff pose - legs extended, spine tall and feet flexed. (putting a folded blanket under your buttocks/hips can help). Legs are parallel, knees up towards ceiling. 

  • Inhale raising arms overhead, exhaling, hinge at the hips, reaching out over your legs, keeping spine straight reaching chin towards toes not down to knees. 

  • Drop your hands onto your legs, wherever they reach, without straining or forcing. If you reach your feet, you can hold your toes to pull forward. 

  • Inhale lift a bit and exhale lengthen spine. Do this several times and then relax into the pose with head dropped down. 

  • Enjoy where you are, be content where you are, practicing being present, mindful.


Meditating On Mindfulness


Allow ~ Danna Faulds

There is no controlling life.

Try corralling a lightning bolt,containing a tornado.

Dam a stream and it will create a new channel.

Resist, and the tide will sweep you off your feet.

Allow, and grace will carryyou to higher ground. The only safety lies in letting it all in –

the wild and the weak-

fear,fantasies, failures and success.

When loss rips off the doors of the heart

or sadness veils your vision with despair,

practice becomes simply bearing the truth.

In the choice to let go of your known way of being,

the wholeworld is revealed to your new eyes.

Nurturing With Food – Perfect For The Holidays – Cranberry Orange Muffins


Anything with cranberries reminds me of the holidays. These muffins remind me of the holiday cranberry nut bread, and are a bit healthier. In fact, the muffins could also be baked into mini loaf pans or large pans, just need to adjust the baking time. Yum.


Link to recipe:


See you on the mat!


Julia Anne





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