March 28, 2021
SI Joint Happiness – Pho/Noodle Soup – Meditation on Trees
Today’s spring weather is miserable and rainy, however, I try to focus on the rain bringing with it lots of beautiful spring blooms. I have been dreaming of spring flowers. Found a sad little tulip plant (3 bulbs) at Home Depot (yes, went inside ☹) but with some repotting into my white ironstone soup tureen and some water it is blooming and looks beautiful (will post on social media this week). This little harbinger of spring is bringing me joy.
Added a few new videos over the past week!
You Tube Channel for videos https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC67u8onU56Mrs1ARWoK81lQ/search
I have been learning in my anatomy class (https://www.anatomybites.com)
about poses or behaviors that we practice in yoga that can create SI joint pain or issues. Poses like forward fold, twists, lateral bends, and asymmetrical sequencing can irritate a cranky SI joint. So, if yours is acting up, back off on these poses, modify and your lower back will thank you.
While asymmetrical sequencing is usual in yoga – we do a series of moves on one side then go back through and do the other – if the sequence is prolonged and results in pelvic asymmetries or undue fatigue on one side it can cause problems. This week I am going to focus on more symmetrical postures (doing both sides at once-like chair pose) and shorter bursts of asymmetrical sequences – let us notice how we feel.
Keep in mind we are all asymmetrical on some level, therefore we notice differences from side to side when we do our asanas. Nothing wrong, simply different!
What poses can help strengthen the lumbar musculature and the glutes and help with SI joint stability? There are many, but the best could be bridge pose and locust – they build muscle on the back body, and guess what, they are symmetrical poses!
Please reach out if you have questions and I would love to hear your feedback!
· Lie on back with knees up and feet on mat near buttocks hip width apart, arms by your sides.
· On an inhale push down into your feet, lifting your hips toward ceiling, using all of your lower body muscles to lift up. Reach chest toward chin.
· Arms can be alongside your body, palms down or you can roll your shoulders under and clasp hands on mat beneath you. Holding the pose using the strength in your lower body keeping your knees aligned (imagine a block between them or even put one there!)
· After several breaths exhale to lower down one vertebra at a time.
· Bring feet to outside edges of mat and windshield wiper.
There is much discussion in the yoga world about using the glutes in back bends (like bridge). My yoga teacher training and subsequent study has me a firm proponent of using these strong muscles. There is an interesting article in yoga journal about this debate, here is the link, would look forward to hearing your thoughts and questions.
Have you read Richard Powers' book, The Overstory? If not, you must! If you have, I would love to hear your comments. To me it was a novel length meditation on trees, mother nature and the smallness of man in relation to the universe and particular to Mother Nature. The story is fabulous, the detail on trees and their mysteries was haunting and meticulous, the characters and their stories compelling. There were two quotes from the book (there were many) that resonated with me.
“Buddha’s words: A tree is a wondrous thing that shelters, feeds, and protects all living things. It even offers shade to the axmen who destroy it.”
“What you make from a tree should be at least as miraculous as what you cut down.”
Nurturing with Food – Pho or Vegan Noodle Bowl (Easy)
My husband who does much of the cooking in our house went to spend a month in Florida. I was determined to cook with what we had already and my weekly organic Misfits Box. Craving Pho (brothy noodle bowl), I came up with this on-the-fly version which turned out delicious.
4 Cups Vegetable Broth-homemade or box; optional: some dried mushrooms if you have them
Noodles (I used some fresh udon but you could also use rice noodles or even dried spaghetti)
Baby Bok Choy
Frozen shelled edamame (mixed veg work well too)
Or Any Green vegetables (see below) total about 3-4 cups chopped (baby bok choy cut in half)
parsley or cilantro – ¼ cup chopped.
fresh ginger – 2-3 inches peeled and chopped.
fresh garlic – 1 clove minced.
1-2 teaspoons olive oil or sesame oil
Fresh udon noodles or rice noodles (or traditional dried spaghetti)
Red pepper flake - optional
In a wok (or frying pan) sauté the ginger and garlic in a teaspoon or two of oil, you could put a couple chopped scallions in as well if you have them. Next toss in the vegetables you have – I used baby bok choy (maybe 6-8), and a stalk of broccoli cut in florets. Keep in mind you could really use any vegetables you had, fresh spinach, green beans, cabbage, etc. Just quickly stir fry enough for two people (or one hungry person). Stir fry just to coat with the ginger and garlic so that the vegetables are still crisp and green. If you want to add some veg broth to the stir fry you can but keep the vegetables slightly under cooked.
Meanwhile, heat the broth in a pot. If you are using homemade broth it is likely fine as is, when I use the box broth, I add a couple dried mushrooms to deepen the flavor (when they softened I pulled them out, chopped them, and threw them back in). When the broth is heated through drop in your noodles (rice noodles or fresh noodles will only take 1-2 minutes if using traditional dried pasta noodles I would use an extra cup of broth and note that it will take a bit longer per the package directions). When noodles are almost done add the cooked vegetables to the pot. Alternatively, you can put them in the individual soup bowls and ladle the broth over. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro or parsley and some more chopped scallions.
Wishing you a happy and healthy week. As always, please invite anyone you think would be interested to join our community, their first class is free!
See you on the mat.