Sometimes students bring me little gifts and it is always touching. Never anything extravagant. A bottle of wine. A card. A grapefruit plucked from a mother's backyard in Phoenix yesterday! A "thank you" on the memo line of a check.
I'd be lying if I said I didn't love these little "thank yous". So sweet and so thoughtful. However, don't get me wrong, I don't expect little gifts! They are unexpected which is why they are so special. I sometimes have no idea how I'm doing as a teacher and these little things let me know I'm at the very least on the right track.
A little thing lately that has been amazing: Bon Vital Foot Balm. I have a student who occassionally brings me little samples and I horde these ones. After a week of teaching I look forward to using one of these special little packets on my tootsies. It makes my feet feel sooo good! You can buy it here.
My teacher gave me this amazing singing bowl. She got it in Nepal from a man who had travelled from China. I can't even imagine that history and that story.
But, it has a more recent history. After she bought it, it travelled with her to all of her workshops for a decade. And, after that, she gave it to her teacher, Erich Schiffmann. Erich used it for a bit, but then optioned for a different bowl from her collection.
Now it has found its way to me.
While I find all of her teachings to be fun and informative, it is always the guided meditation or savasana that truly reaches into my bones. Her voice is hypnotizing and then when she makes her bowl sing...well, to me it isn't far short of magical.
My practice recently has been to sit on my zafu, attempt to make it sing, followed by three strikes, and then I sit until I can no longer hear the sound. Then I do it again.
The icky gray weather is getting to me as it does every February. Spring fever hits when I know there is a lot of winter left. Ugh. My body is feeling heavy and sluggish. And I am feeling completely flat.
It an attempt to perk myself up I have been enjoying daily restorative practices, at least an hour, and adding lots of greens to my diet to give me wholesome energy (disregard the strawberry milkshake from DQ last night...that I drank sitting in front of the fire pretending I was at some lovely beach...true story).
I made this soup and I think it turned out awesome. Not much salt. The only fat is a bit of olive oil...and of course the cheese.
Kale Chard Spinach Soup
- couple of handfuls of kale, middle stem removed and coarsely chopped
- couple of handfuls of chard, coarsely chopped (I like a little stem, especially if you use rainbow chard because it is colorful and makes the soup pretty)
- couple of handfuls of spinach
- one onion
- one parsnip
- half can of black beans
- box of vegetable stock (I used unsalted chicken stock cause it is what I had)
- couple cups of water (ish)
- chili powder or red pepper flakes
- salt and pepper to taste
- olive oil
- fresh lemon juice
- feta cheese
- chop up the onion and throw it in a pot with some olive oil and cook until it turns brownish, get a little carmelization
- season onions with a pinch of salt, pepper, cumin, and red pepper flakes (to taste, you can adjust later)
- pour in stock and add greens and parsnip and black beans
- bring to a boil and then let simmer covered (20-30 minutes ish)
- add a little water if you would like it more soupy
- taste, add salt (I really didn't use much) cumin or more pepper)
- simmer a bit longer so the greens are cooked as is the parsnip
- finish with some fresh lemon juice
- feta cheese optional, but it is so good
Notes: If it had been in my pantry, I would have used white beans instead of black. I like the spicyness of them and how they break down and thicken the soup. Next time.
Nom. Nom. Nom.
Heartstopper Emiliana Torrini
As part of my recent week long training, I got to go to a yoga class! Which when you teach yoga, you don't get to do very often.
I found a studio a block (a block!) from the hotel. The Yoga Studio. They had two Sunday morning offerings. Heated vinyasa which just sounds miserable to me. And aerial yoga. Hmm...
My curiosity got the better of me and I found myself sitting in a beautiful studio with silk swings hanging from the ceiling.
The class was super challenging especially for the abs, the legs, and the upper body. We went upside down. We were cocooned in the swing. We did savasana in the swing.
It is always fun to see how other teachers handle a class. And, this class seemed wild because at least a third of it was brand spanking new to aerial yoga. I loved watching the teacher, Amber, handle the different levels. And, I especially liked how she made sure everyone was on the same page.
If you're with me shout Wooo! If you're not shout Whoa!
After the class I chatted with Amber and she was kind enough to let me snap a photo.
You can find Amber at her website or at The Yoga Studio in Campbell, CA.
Have you tried aerial yoga? Thoughts?
I teach ten classes a week. Plus, I go through each sequence before I teach it. And, I have a personal practice where I'm on the mat at least once a day. I spend a lot of time rolling around on the floor! Playing. It's fun.
Yet, by Thursday night after my last class for the week, I'm exhausted. Sometimes the thought of getting back on my mat on my days off isn't always appealing.
My new weekend practice is Yin. Three days of yin to unwind and go deeper. I love the challenge of it. I love feeling the body let go slowly. And, my mind let go slowly.
Here is a glimpse at my practice Friday night. By the fire. In the dark. Totally quiet. Books for a block.