This week I am inspired in my yoga practice by working in my gardens and anticipating enjoying our outdoor practices in them (and sitting on my patio). We have a guest cabin (Airbnb) on our property and the gardens looking their best is important for us as we welcome our spring and summer guests. During the pandemic’s peak, yoga classes met and practiced outdoors well into December (bundled and with a side of chai or ginger tea). The only thing that was a bit bothersome were the cold toes!
Over the last couple of weeks, I have been torturing my friend Dorothy on exactly how she assembles her compost pile (yes, I have had one for 20 years with mediocre results based on my lack of true effort). Under her tutelage (over texts from Utah), I spent hours digging out the old pile and am ready to start anew. Did you know that on average 30% of household waste can be composted? If you then layer on recycling, and repurposing, what we haul to the landfill can be minimal! As an organic gardener, I also like the benefit of the nutrient rich compost for layering on my beds instead of chemical fertilizer. My philosophy (taken from my Dad who was an avid vegetable gardener), is if you aren’t going to garden organically, we might as well buy our vegetables from Stop and Shop! As we all know, gardening is not about frugality, mass produced supermarket vegetables are certainly cheaper. How often have Peter and I joked about the $10 zucchinis that we must hide in people’s cars to give away because we have so many? (More on that another day).
Today, I focus on my flower beds and pots with my husband, Peter, as my helper. We had a lot of fun.
For me, being outside every day is critical. Not sure how I did not realize that when I chose a banking career, but year-round I feel the need to be outside experiencing the healing properties of nature.
Our Practice – Flowering Lotus Pose - Vikasita Kamalasana
Thinking about a pose to embody our flowering garden theme (and hoping not to rely on tree pose – which I love – yet again), I discovered Flowering Lotus Pose - It is a fun pose to try and is a variation of traditional lotus pose. This pose uses core strength and hip opening while helping us work on balance and focus. It also opens our chest, strengthens lower back. You may feel energized after doing this pose.
Come to Baddha Konasana (bound angle pose), bending knees and bringing soles of your feet together. Sit with tall spine with your crown to the sky (or as we say in class, your tiara to the sky).
Inhaling firm your core and lift your legs rocking back on your sitting bones and balancing.
Weave your arms under your legs, lifting your chest squeezing shoulder blades and work on keeping spine straight.
Gaze upward if it feels ok in your neck and imagine you are a blossoming flower.
For more on this pose and several other flower inspired yoga poses, follow the link below for an article by Bloomon.
Meditation – Plants as a metaphor for life
Focusing on the powers of nature both for its beauty and restorative powers as well as its being a metaphor for how to live our lives.
“Happiness radiates like the fragrance from a flower and draws all good things toward you. Allow your love to nourish yourself as well as others. Do not strain after the needs of life. It is sufficient to be quietly alert and aware of them. In this way life proceeds more naturally and effortlessly. Life is here to Enjoy!” – Marharishi Mahesh Yogi
“Look after the root of the tree, and the fragrant flower and luscious fruits will grow by themselves. Look after the health of the body, and the fragrance of the mind and richness of the spirit will follow". – BKS Iyengar
Nurturing with Food – Nim Chow (Vietnamese Spring Rolls)
I know I have often said that my favorite food is salad. For consistent every day eating, that is still true. However, my go to other favorite food is nim chow. I could probably eat it every day and never tire of it. I love the crunchy texture and the explosion of fresh flavors, the combination of mint and basil (or Thai basil) is so good! I love them so much that many years ago we figured out how to make them at home. They are easy to make once you get the hang of the soaking of the wrappers and rolling them up. Don’t over fill, keep the filling in the middle and don’t have the bean sprouts on the outside or they poke through the wrapper! The ones pictured used edible flowers instead of the first layer of lettuce, experiment!
Link to recipe:
See you on the mat!