Monday, February 22, 2010
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Friday, February 19, 2010
I was at the Sivananda Yoga Ranch, an ashram in upstate NY, and it was my last day there. I had some free time after brunch and I wanted to hike the trails behind the property, which sits on 100 acres of beautiful forest in the foothills of the Catskills. The only problem was, there wasn't an organized hike and the head of the ashram had warned us not to hike the trails alone because they were not marked very well.
Nevertheless, I stood at the head of the trail weighing my options. It just seemed like the perfect thing to do to mark the end of my time there. I had just had a magical asana practice, and I wanted to take a walk in nature to reflect upon it.
As I was standing there contemplating, I hear a rustling behind me; of the four legged variety. The black lab (one of the animals who lives at the ashram) came padding up next to me, paused, and then trotted about 30 feet ahead of me. Then he looked back, went another 10 feet, and looked back again. Was this dog telling me to follow him??!! Either way, I did.
We walked together like this along the trails. He would run ahead, never more than 50 yards or so, look back, wait until I caught up a bit and then he would run ahead again. Astounding! He guided me toward the big field next to the entrance of the property, where the cows live. I perched on the gate while he galloped in circles around the sacred creatures. This seemed to be a favorite activity of his. I smiled and giggled to myself, to see his joy and the cows' indifference. After a few minutes like this he came out and resumed guiding me along the trail.
While I walked I reflected on his kindness and how touching it was that he chose to help me. How did he know I needed his help? What energy did he feel? I didn't want to leave!
As soon as we reached the end of the trail, and the main building of the ashram was in view, he took off running.
Afterward, I sat under a tree outside the temple and wrote this poem:
the trees are talkin'
to each other
and my mind is dancing, with a butterfly on my nose;
in a field of wild
the colors of
grace, god and love.
the colors of this
moment. a divine moment.
i can talk
to black dogs
and read scottish minds.
if i could put duct
tape over my heart
to stop this feeling
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
White Bean, Rosemary, and Kale Soup
2 cans White Beans (drained and rinsed)
4 Cups vegetable stock
3 tbsp olive oil
½ cup unsalted butter
1 sprig of rosemary
2 sprigs of thyme
1 bay leaf
½ small yellow onion (chopped)
2 clove garlic (chopped)
Tbsp lemon zest
½ cup cubed parmesan cheese rinds (optional)
Bunch kale, stemmed, chopped and rinsed (you can use ANY thick leafy green! I like to use whatever is freshest at the store or market)
salt & pepper to taste
Into a medium pot on low heat, add the olive oil and butter until the butter is melted. Add the chopped onion and let sauté on low heat until the onion is translucent, 10-15 mins. Then add the garlic, rosemary, thyme, bay leaf and sauté for another 3 minutes. Stir in the white beans, then add the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the beans are super tender. Remove the herbs, and bay leaf. Add salt and pepper to taste. At this point you could use a hand held blender to blend the beans into a smooth textured soup, or you could transfer to a blender (carefully, with the hot liquid), I don’t have either and I personally prefer the texture of the whole beans.
Now, add the lemon zest and cheese rinds and let simmer for another 10 minutes. Now stir in the greens until bright green and slightly wilted. *
*an option for making the soup FRESH every time if you’re not going to serve the whole pot all at once. Ladle the soup into a bowl and THEN stir in a handful of greens. Let the soup cool and then transfer to a tupperware container and refrigerate, place the rest of your rinsed greens into a big zip lock baggie with a paper towel, and then add a handful to each serving when as you reheat. Otherwise the greens get unpleasantly wilted and slimy as you continue to reheat the soup.
Saturday, February 6, 2010
Thursday, February 4, 2010
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
A force of nature; B.K.S. Iyengar is one of the greatest living yoga masters and a profound inspiration in my practice and teaching. I want to share a quote of his with you, dear yogi's and yogini's. It's from an interview with him that Yoga Journal ran a little over a year ago, and I just came across it in an old journal. When asked what his practice is like now (He just turned 91 this past December), this is how Mr. Iyengar responded: