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July 4 – Poses and Meditation on Freedom and Independence - Grilled Eggplant Sandwich

Our Practice - What Poses Make You Feel Free?

Independence Day is a day to celebrate freedom and independence. While we may not immediately see the correlation between barbeques, fireworks, and yoga, I contend there are many parallels. What is our yoga practice if it does not help us feel strong and independent? As we move through our practice, we focus inward on our breath and movement; while we indeed practice as a community, our practice is our own independent expression of self. As we move through our practice, feeling strong or calm or joyful, yoga may help us develop a strong sense of freedom (from stress, pain, tension or just the thoughts of the day). If we practice fully in the present, I believe that feelings of freedom and independence are likely to develop. There are times when a practice just lights us up, calls to us, feeds us; the joy from that practice is not unlike fireworks! So, I challenge you, what poses bring you those feelings of freedom and independence? I would love to hear from you! Dancer pose, crow pose, and triangle do it for me! I encourage you to find a few poses that embody this for you and practice those in celebration of the fourth!

PS the video and photo of fireworks above are actually from a Diwali celebration in India from my October 2019 trip there. Let’s keep that country and its current pandemic struggles in our hearts and prayers.

Meditation on Independence and Freedom

As we celebrate fourth of July and think about independence and freedom, we cannot help but think about the freedoms we have this summer versus last summer - and the independence from covid restrictions. I challenge us all to express gratitude for those things while also contemplating the historical significance of this holiday and what it should mean for all Americans. As our country moves forward with efforts to bring peace and justice and opportunity to all our citizens, I will be meditating on how I can do my small part. I reflect on the progress we have made since the 60’s, all of the hard work of so many people standing and marching for what they believed in, and have felt saddened by the climate and recent events that has jeopardized that progress. I hope that in 60 years from now we will live in a world where we no longer must have a civil rights movement, as all people will just have equal civil rights.

“Freedom is knowledge, peace, and bliss. Consciously or unconsciously, wittingly, or unwittingly, all are attempting for this freedom. In every heart, there is desire for freedom, this all-consuming passion for liberty.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

Nurturing Through Food – Grilled Eggplant Sandwiches

These would make a great alternative to hot dogs and hamburgers at a fourth of July cook-out!

When my husband and I were first married and lived in our duplex, we had a tiny coal hibachi on our deck. One day we were working on the house and realized it was dinner. Based on what we had, Peter came up with these sandwiches. Whether I was just so hungry from all of the work, I still remember where I was sitting and how I thought these were one of the most delicious things I had ever eaten. He has tweaked the recipe over the some 26 years we have been married, still one of my favorites.

See you on the mat


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