Updated: Jun 6, 2021
Our Practice – Continued Spinal Health
We have been talking a lot in our classes lately about spinal health. We have been focusing on strengthening the back and the core as part of the process and have done much work around some basic poses to achieve this namely locust (salabhasana), bridge (setu bandha sarvangasana), boat (navasana) and some planks (kumbhakasana – ok, I had to look that one up!). As we move into the inversion portion of the practice, sometimes a restorative pose, especially after vigorous sequencing around core and back strength, can be a wonderful option. Supported bridge is a great one. You can also do this when your back is feeling cranky, or you feel a bit tired. Each time I do it I am reminded how good it feels….and isn’t that the point?
Supported Bridge - Setu Bandha Sarvangasana
Lying on your back with knees bent feet hip width apart on the mat so that the backs of your fingers can touch the back of the heels. Place a yoga block under your sacrum with the widest side on the floor. Place your arms wherever feels good: overhead, cactus or maybe on your stomach. Hold the pose relaxing into it for maybe 3-5 minutes.
Really restorative for the lower back and may leave you feeling really rejuvenated. Let me know what you think.
Meditation – Living Each Present as a Present
As some of you know, my sister was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer about a year and a half ago. While my heart was breaking on the inside, I tried to do what I always do in the face of a challenge, boss it into being fixed. As much as I tried to be my sister’s champion, always focusing on the positive, the pillow plumping, food fetching, driving to Boston, etc., the real source of our inspiration came from my sister herself. Prior to her diagnosis she had been in somewhat of a dark place and not living her life as fully as she could have. After the initial phase of shock and sadness, she kicked into gear, making huge life changes relative to diet, medications, exercise, and attitude, all while battling through chemo, surgery, and radiation. She rediscovered her love of art and threw herself back into living fully, focusing on her family, despite the challenges that her treatments posed. She went back to work early this year (albeit prematurely) and just had major reconstruction surgery, surprising us all by being up, mobile and smiling in less than a week (trust me, she is still very uncomfortable, and her body resembles a Dr Frankenstein project).
What is my point, other than to celebrate my sister’s courage? It is to remind us all to live each day fully and, when possible, face life’s challenges with hope and determination and whatever spiritual support works for you. Each day is a gift, that is why it is call the present!
“When we meet real tragedy in life, we can react in two ways–either by losing hope and falling into self-destructive habits, or by using the challenge to find our inner strength.” ― Dalai Lama XIV
Nurturing With Food – Minty Farro Salad
Full disclosure? I developed this recipe by starting to cook without my glasses on. Thought I had measured out some bulgur and it turned out it was farro. At that point I figured I would proceed and see what I came up with. Was making something to bring to my sister for lunch and had just put a pot of vegan pea soup on, decided to improvise with some of my prior recipes capitalizing on what I currently had in the garden, radishes, greens, chives and mint. Turns out this was pretty darn delicious and forgiving, as with many of my recipes feel free to improvise!
Link to the recipe: