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June 13 2021 Yoga Outside The Box – What is Yoga? – Cold Noodles with Sesame

Updated: May 8, 2022

Our Practice – Yoga Outside The Box

I am not the best rule follower (pretty amazing that I have had a 30-year career in banking one of the most rigid and highly regulated industries). Early in my career I learned the politics of business and it has served me relatively well (more on that another time). When it comes to yoga, I believe in only 2 rules: (1) breathe and (2) maintain a sense of humor/laugh. When yoga becomes stressful or rigid, that is when we might as well just go to work! I have struggled with some yoga practitioners who say yoga is not this or that something “isn’t real yoga”. Patanjali wrote in the Yoga Sutras that the purpose of yoga is to “control of fluctuations in the mind” and the literal translation of yoga means “to yoke” or join. In fact, in Patanjali’s eight fold path only one of his 8 steps or limbs, the asanas, refers to the physical practice or poses. Yoga Journal has a good brief overview of the eight fold path:

Many things that we do in life, combining movement and breath (joining the body, soul and mind) may bring about the calming, balance of a traditional practice. Why couldn’t things like hiking, swimming, crafting or gardening also serve to bring us to that ultimate place of enlightenment, peace of mind, samahdi?

So this week I encourage you to think outside the yoga box, finding yoga in some of your other activities. For me, last week, this "yoga" included a long bike ride with my husband including a mile or two along a stretch of road in Matunuck, RI that I have long thought the most beautiful place in the world. It includes lovely farms and fields with sheep, cows and other animals, beach roses and the ocean in the background. I finish my rides with that stretch so that that beauty and tranquility stays with me all day. Read about the 8 limb path of yoga and think about where your activities may fit in.

”Move your joints every day. You have to find your own tricks. Bury your mind deep in your heart, and watch the body move by itself.” — Sri Dharma Mittra

Meditation On - What Yoga Is For You

In thinking about yoga and what it means to each of us individually, I love this quote from The Bhagavad Gita, “Yoga is the journey of the self, though the self, to the self”.

Nowhere in this notable work or in Patanjali’s Sutras does it say, yoga is wearing fancy yoga clothes, being hyper mobile and being the most flexible person doing physically impossible poses for their body! Take some time this week to focus on what yoga means to you and how the breath, the movement and meditation can enhance your every day.

Nurturing With Food – Cold Noodles With Sesame

So this week’s recipe is one of my husband Peter’s. For those of you who have enjoyed sesame noodles in Asian restaurants, this recipe takes all the best aspects of them and tops it! If the sauce is not wet enough for you (they can sometimes be a little pasty), I suggest thinning the dressing out further with additional tea and soy sauce. I have had these in many restaurants in Chinatowns in DC, London and NY, the best, I think, are at Green Bo at 66 Bayard (Chinatown) – if you are not dining at my house.

Recipe below

See you on the mat.


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