Everyday May not be good, but there is good in every day
|Posted on May 1, 2017 at 6:25 PM||comments (9449)|
Well hello there TYC blog tribe. I hope you’re all doing well. I’ve missed some of your beautiful faces in class lately. I know life gets busy, but I do hope that you are taking some time for yourself even in the busiest of times. However let’s be honest....probably not, right? So right now, I’d like to take a moment here with you to just simply breathe. Ready...(close those beautiful eyes of yours) take a nice slow deep inhale in through the nose....then exhale slowly. Keep breathing In.... and the out for 5 long deep breathes.
If you don't feel like closing the eyes, look here and breathe with the shape
Better? Sometimes just a few simple breath’s can help us relax and remind ourselves that we are just 1 person probably doing way to much and there is nothing wrong with taking a moment to ourselves. Remember if you are feeling stressed and/or overloaded, there is nothing wrong with asking for a little help (something most of us never do because we obnoxiously feel like we have to do everything) or taking a few extra minutes to just simply breath and gather ourselves. You are just 1 person, not 5 and definatly not a machine. You won’t be doing yourself any favors by constantly being at your limit. Your breath is always with you patiently waiting in the wings to help you out, you just have to remember it’s there.
So, moving along, I would like to let you all know due to low number’s I’ve decided to postpone the YogaDance class until the end of June/beginning of July. Most seem pretty unclear as to what the class is so over the next little bit I will be shooting a quick video showing you exactly what it is. So keep your eyes open and check the website and Facebook page for it
Also, over the next few weeks I will be adding all the past recipes to the photo section, done on a recipe card which can easily be saved or printed so you don’t have to scroll through past blogs searching. They will all be in 1 easy location. ‘Bout time right? haha
Hey! While you’re there, feel free to stop at the testimonial page and leave some comments about the studio and what yoga has done for you. You can also leave comments at the end of every blog on the website and on Facebook. This is where I ask for your help. I need you guys so I can improve and be better for you!
Well on to pose of the month. This month I’m choosing more than just 1 pose. This will be a small sequence of poses for first thing in the morning. And best part? It’s all done in bed, before you even get up! Glorious right? Morning Yoga Love right here.
Ok so let’s start off with lying in bed on our back. Inhale and bring the knees up to the chest, Exhale and lightly hug them in closer. Rest here for a few deep breathes (3-5) Inhale release the knees and exhale slowly lower your knees to the right for supine spinal twist (place a pillow under the knees for added comfort) rest here for a few deep breathes (3-5) Inhale and slowly bring the knees back up to center and then exhale slowly lower the the knees over to the left side (again use a pillow for comfort if needed) Relax here for 3-5 breathes. Inhale and bring the knees back to center and exhale hug the knees closer to the chest for another 3-5 breathes (feel free to rock lightly and slowly from side to side). When ready relax the feet down and push yourself up into Easy seated pose (reminder: sit tall) with hands lightly resting in the lap or resting on the knees. Take 3 deep breathes and on the 3rd exhale lower your chin to chest and roll the head slowly side to side for 3 breathes, Inhale bring the head back up to center reach up through the crown and exhale lean the head the head back. Inhale bring the head back to center and straighten the legs out in front of you (don’t rush her just take your time and breath) When ready Inhale and sweep the arm up over your head and exhale forward, (hinging from the hips and leading with the chest) into seated forward fold and relax with 3-5 deep breathes (you can use a pillow and place it on your lap for extra comfort and rest the head) Inhale back up resting the hands lightly on the legs and sit quietly and just breathe. Take note of the body. Try running a mental scan from top of the all the way down to the tips of the toes. The 2 nice big deep breathes and lightly blink the eyes open. Now go conquer the day!! This really is a nice way to start the day and I hope you add it into your morning routine.
Speaking of morning wake up routines... How many of us run to the coffee maker first thing in the morning? I myself don’t drink coffee, but I do love a big mug of tea, and always head to the kettle first thing.
I do try and change it up here and there and I know in my heart that my first drink should be something else. So here I’m going to start a May Challenge and I hope you jump on board with me as the lists of benefits is Ah-mazing!!!
I give you........ warm Lemon Water
Warm Lemon Water Goodness
My challenge is this....Instead of having coffee or tea first thing, make this beautiful cup of joy first, then have your coffee after if you feel you need it. But let’s do this every single morning for the whole month of May. I promise, your body will reward you by the end of the month. Not sure what this little cup daily can do for you? Why on earth would I ever challenge you to drink this every day? It’s just a simple cup of warm water with lemon in it. Well....let’s just go through the list then shall we? It’s long so bare with me.
Alkalizes the body
Balances blood sugar levels
Balances pH levels
Fights cancer cells
Helps hydrate our lymphatic system
Helps treat constipation
Improves digestive health
Improves eye sight
Improves Immune system
Increases metabolism & promotes weight loss
Keeps body hydrated
Kills free radicals
Lowers high blood pressure
Lowers stress levels
Prevents bad breath
Reduces uric acid & inflammation
Treats/Prevents kidney stones
Your liver will love you
I know right? It’s a pretty impressive list! All that from a simple warm cup of water and the juice from an organic lemon. You’re probably sitting there right now asking yourself why don’t I drink this every day already? I know...I hang my head every time I go over this list and think exactly that.
Need to add a hint of sweetness to make it a bit more palatable for you. Add a bit of honey to it and add these extra benefits to the list
Helps to clear acne
Clears chest congestion
Acts as a natural diuretic
Low calorie energy drink
Clears throat infection
And gives your skin a healthy glow
Ya...So I’m thinking this challenge might not be so hard to convince you to try. The hardest part of this is making it your first drink of the day. But trust me, 30 days of this and you’ll love the outcome.
So for this challenge please make sure the water is hot-warm and the first drink of the day. You are also not limited to only 1 warm mug a day either
Why hot-warm water? well here’s why
Warm water soothes the blood vessels and allows better hydration. It helps move the fats along reducing risks of clogged arteries and allows better digestion. It also helps to flush the kidneys and improves bowel movement.
So are you ready to give it a shot? Join me in this challenge and keep me posted on how you’re feeling, any changes you notice, whatever you feel let me know, I’d love to hear from you. Even a selfie with some mug love would be awesome!!
And with that, I will see you in class and until then remember to ‘Spread some yoga love with who you love’
Throw it everywhere!!!
"April hath put a spirit of youth in everything" W. Shakespeare
|Posted on April 6, 2017 at 2:55 PM||comments (7628)|
Spring has sprung and April is finally here, bringing with it new beginnings.
For those wishing to try a new beginning with yoga, please take advantage of our current offer of 10% off your first monthly unlimited pass and just mention the following flyer to me.
Speaking of new beginnings, I have decided to try out a couple new things here at TYC that I’ve wanted to do for awhile now. Firstly, I will will now be offering Private sessions. I know...About time right? While I have taught outside the studio at different dance studios and small groups, I figured its time I start offering these private sessions (everything comes with time folks). Now some of you might be wondering why take private classes at all? Well.. working on a one on one basis is a ideal way to help explore your own personal practice and to help clarify and deepen your practice as well. Or it may be more appropriate if you don’t like working in a class setting or feel uncomfortable in a class, or maybe you have specific needs such as PTSD or TBI or need help working on rehabilitation on an injury. Maybe you are just looking to learn the basics to give you the confidence of joining a class. Either way, I can tailor your session so you can really enjoy yoga and relax into it. If you’d like more info contact me anytime for more details.
Right.. now moving on to new beginning #2. This one has been filed away in my book for months and months and I think it’s about time I share it with you. This will be a new class offered in bulk sessions of 8 classes. Those that carry the monthly unlimited pass.. this will be included but you will have to sign up. For those others who don’t have the pass when you sign up you’ll have to commit to the 8 classes. So... I give you... The YogaDance Series. Here you’ll enjoy the great workout that yoga has to offer, while flowing gracefully with your breath and body from pose to pose to music. Think of it like a dance class, but your moves ore yoga poses. Exciting right!! This class is going to take place on Thursday nights at 7pm in place of the YogaBoard class for a little while. Session spots will be limited so sign up soon, Session start date will be April 27th. Again if you have any questions feel free to contact me. (The cost will be the cost of 8 regular classes, and those who have 10 class passes can use those too if you’re wondering)
Aren’t new beginnings beautiful! Hopefully you’ll feel the same and enjoy them with me.
Ok. So how about we start working on a pose now shall we? For April our pose of the month is Chair pose. You can choose to move in and out of this pose with your breath to warm up the body or you can hold the pose to increase stability, power and strength in your lower body. This pose strengthens the quadriceps, lower back, shoulders, abdominals and calves.
To get into the pose start in Mountain pose. On your next inhale reach the hands to the sky and lengthen the body. As you exhale squeeze the legs together and sink your hips as if you are about to sit in a chair.
If you are warming up the body, flow with your breath. Exhale, sinking down with your hips and bending the knees. Inhale, sweep the arms upwards and stand tall in Mountain pose. Repeat as many times as needed.
For those wishing to hold for a few breaths, exhale and sink the hips downward. keep the arms extended upward for working the shoulders (if you have shoulder issues bring the hands to center in prayer position) Breathe deeply here and bring focus to your body. Nice long back, tailbone is slightly tucked, knees are together and just behind the toes. You want the majority of your weight in the heels, so if you glace down and can’t see your toes, just shift slightly more weight back into your heels. Next check in with your shoulders and make sure they are relaxed and away from the ears.
When you are ready to come up out of the pose, inhale and sweep the arms upward and stand tall in mountain. Repeat as many times as needed.
This pose, for so many people, creates such intense emotions. Some would rather curl up in a hole, some may feel quite bitter in it. So if you’re one of these people, please know you are not alone haha Just...Breathe....Through....It. With lots of practice hopefully all those emotions will melt away in time.
So the recipe this month is an easy one. However, it contains nuts. So for those with a nut allergy, I apologize. I’m trying out other recipes right now that are nut free for you. Message me or comment below if you’d like me to send it when I have it figured out.
Ok so who out there has been living under a rock and hasn’t heard of or tried LaraBar’s? I LOVE THEM! But sometimes I hate paying for them (lol) Not long ago they came out with LaraBite’s too. (they are tiny little bite size balls of pure goodness) They too are a bit pricey for some and I find they steer clear.
What’s nice about the bites is you aren’t committed to eating a whole bar and one ball can kill my sweet craving like that. So.. since the ingredient list is simple and basic I decided to try and make them. Let me tell you, they...were...easy. Just look at how good they look!
These are just the basic bites, but oh so good and never last more than a few days in my house, depending on how much will power I have haha.
So here’s what you’re going to need:
10-12 Medjool pitted dated (or just pit them yourself)
1/2 cup unsalted peanuts
pinch of salt (I use sea salt or pink himalayan salt)
Add pitted dates to your food processor and pulse until a paste forms. Then add in your peanuts and pulse again until peanuts are finely chopped. Using damp hands, form mix into 1” ball. Store in an air tight container at room temp. or store in the fridge.
Now don’t let the dates scare you off because honestly they are so good. Try keeping the cost down and buy in bulk because I’m sure once you try these you’ll want to make more and they only take 5 mins.
If you’re a chocolate fan try adding in 2 tbsp of cocoa powder and 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract. You can even swap out the peanuts for walnuts and add a bit of chocolate chips too for a walnut brownie bite!
k..ummmm....you have a bit of drool on your chin...right there...ya you might want to take care of that
Well my friends we are at the end of another blog. Please feel free to share with friends and fam and maybe leave a comment or 2. I’d love to hear from you. Until next time.... Spread some yoga love and shine bright!!!
Happy March Ya'll
|Posted on March 2, 2017 at 11:15 PM||comments (1144)|
Happy March Yogis! Can you believe March is here already? It's exciting that spring is right around the corner (that's if mother nature's willing to be kind to us). With March now upon us March break is fast approching. The Yoga Cottage's first camp is open for registration and below is the registration form.
If you'd like a little refresher on the week and what's happening each day, here's the weekly layout to help you book your days.
Remember there are limited spots daily so please book soon.
Can I just take a moment to look back on last month? In February we had a couple special classes here that are worth highlighting. First, at the beginning of the month we had a great neck and back pain workshop. It was a small but mighty group looking for ways to help themselves heal and feel better and I wanted to take a moment to say thank you for joining me and that you are amazing in taking those first steps for yourself and for helping yourself heal.
"Healing doesn't mean the damage never existed. It means the damage no longer controls our lives."
Moving on to the last specialty class this month.... our Harry Potter Yoga. I can't even begin to tell you how much fun this was. The Friday night even provided us with some crazy weather that really set an incredible mood. I had so much fun that I will be planning another one this summer, so keep an eye out for info on that! Here's a couple pictures from the night in case you were curious.
So here as well I’d like to send out a huge thank you to everyone who made it. I know the weather didn’t make it easy, but it made for an amazing backdrop, and I hope some key spells stuck with you and that you’ll visit downward fluffy soon
I will be planning a few more specialty classes throughout the year and I hope that you all can find the time to attend. I’m designing them to help you find your love of yoga, it’s awesome healing benefits and to really learn what each pose does for your mind, body and soul, how they are done properly and most importantly done safely. Taking time out of our busy schedules for self care is so overlooked these days and just going through the motions of our daily lives just doesn’t feel like we are really using our full potential. Don’t get me wrong, I understand the hardships of making time for it all. I too struggle right there along with you. But my time on the mat is there for me. It helps me through the daily stresses, keeps me grounded and calmer and increases my patience levels. It reminds me always to be kinder, more humble, to put more trust in myself, to face my fears (albeit one at a time and little by little, but facing them all the same) and helps me find more happiness and joy in life. It keeps me healthy in more ways than one and I’m always thankful for that. I hope that you find something that does this for you. It’s doesn’t have to be yoga here with me, but finding that something is hard to let go once you’ve found it. Remember life is here to enjoy! Embrace it! Find what makes you happy and run with it!!
On that note..Let’s move on to pose of the month shall we? This month I’d like to introduce you all to Cobbler’s pose. This is easily one of my favs and I usually include it at least once in my class. Not only is it relaxing, it’s got a couple great things going on in the body.
I’d like to add before we get into the pose that if you have tight hips or sit for long periods of time (eg: sitting at a desk all day) or if you’re a runner, this pose is something you might want to add into your daily stretches.
Ok let’s start with the modification of this pose (remember modifications are a great starting point for beginners) and then we will move to the full expression of cobbler pose.
Let’s begin by sitting on our mat, knees are bent and feet are together. Open up your knees so that the bottoms of your feet touch. Then wrap your hands around your feet so that your thumbs lie across the arches and peel your feet open like a book. As you do this, relax the shoulders so your chest stays open. Then exhale and start to bring your chest forward. Don’t worry about how far forward you fold, it’s more about the integrity of the pose, so keeping the back long and your chest broad. Also if you’re hips are tight, your knees might be high. If that’s the case, just lightly press your elbows into your thighs to help open the hips up. Here let’s talk about where to look. In keeping proper alignment, keep your gaze forward about 3 feet in front of you on the ground.
Now moving into the full expression of this pose, with each exhale we will continue to keep folding forward. Keeping the hips rooted to the mat, back long and gaze toward the floor. Here you can keep the hands on the feet OR extend the arms out long in front of you, fingers spread wide and gaze is to the floor.
Continue with nice long deep breathes until you are ready to come up out of the pose. When ready, Inhale and slowly come to sitting up straight. *Remember hinge from the hips and engage your core when coming up.
Feels amazing right? I love it.
Well I guess it’s snack time!
Today this is a quick cookie recipe for those vegans out there and for those with a lot of food allergies. My apologize as I don’t always include alternatives for you.
For those who are feeling disappointment because I said vegan, don’t be, you’ll love this too.
Say Hi to these 4 ingredient chocolate chip cookies.
I will apologize again here as I quickly took these photos last time I made these with my cell phone. Not the best quality, I know. Any who ... here’s a list of what you’ll need
2 very ripe bananas
1 1/2 cups quick oats
1/3 cup peanut butter OR nut butter
1/4 cup chocolate chips or any mix-ins of choice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine bananas, oats and peanut butter in a bowl and mix well. Fold in chocolate chips. Drop bit sized spoonfuls on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for about 15mins. Let cool and enjoy! That’s it!
If you have any left overs, store them in an air tight container and keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
These are a great healthy snack and a much better option if you’re craving cookies and also a great use of those really ripe bananas you’d probably just throw away. If you make some, let me know what you think and if you make any changes I’d love to hear them. Let’s getting talking folks!
So here is where the blog usually ends but this month I’d like to add in what I’m reading. My interests in books vary all the time (I will pretty much devour any book) but I’m always looking for something new. This month I’ve started reading “Adventures For Your Soul” By Shannon Kaiser.
Here’s a description about the book:
Sometimes the one thing you need to make a change is to see things from a fresh perspective. Discover twenty-one innovative emotional explorations to boldly confront the habits that are holding you back in this breakthrough guide that provides the tools you need to fearlessly embrace your innermost desires.Drawing from her own transformational experiences, Shannon Kaiser’s program utilizes an empowering process that encourages you to go on adventures for your soul so you can:
• Achieve your goals
• Remove limiting beliefs and self-sabotaging patterns
• Feel freedom from fear and live with purpose and passion
• Be unapologetic about your innermost desires
• And make happiness your natural way of life
By focusing on how your life feels instead of how it looks on the outside, you can passionately experience your own life adventures. By changing the way you see yourself, you can ultimately live life to the fullest.
So far I’ve found it quite interesting and to me, finding out what my full potential could be would be amazing and finding a little more happiness and joy in life is not a bad second either. I’m looking forward to finishing it and seeing what happens after. If you feel like it give it a read. Or, let me know what’s on your reading list. Maybe you’re reading something I’d love!
Well on that note, we have now come to the end of March’s blog. I hope you enjoyed and hopefully I will see you all soon in class.
Shannon Hawman xoxoxo
PS- Don’t forget to register for camp!
Hello February...Love Much, Live Well
|Posted on January 27, 2017 at 1:10 PM||comments (4528)|
Well hello there again all my awesome yogis! I hope you've all been well. I'd like to start off with the reminder that the neck and back pain relief workshop is almost here. There's still room if you'd like to attend. Here we will focus on poses that will help relieve the pain and how to make sure they are done in proper order for maximum benefit of each pose. Learn the how and the why is a safe environment. It will be a great workshop so don't miss out if you suffer from them as this will be the only pain relief workshop this year.
Also moving on to my next bit of news...it's kinda big for me. So usually I go away for vacation every year and close the studio for 2 weeks in March, however, things have come up and we won't be going Booo But! since I'm not going away I might as well do something special right? So.... I'm going to offer a March break kids yoga camp! Exciting right? Unfortunantely day classes will be cancelled for the week. Sorry folks but all night classes will be available still. Anyways, the camp will run from 10am-2pm. There's the option of booking the entire week OR booking daily. The catch? Sadly I will only have 8 spots per day available, so booking asap is the only way to make sure you get the spots you need. Each day will be $40 per child or if you book the entire week (5 days) for $205 per child.
Now I bet you're wondering what will my child do at a yoga camp all day? I can't possibly make them do yoga all day (although the though did cross my mind just kidding) I have a ton of fun stuff planned but it's also nice and structured too. Here's the layout for the day
10am-10:15am - Share/Gratitude Circle
10:15am- 11:30 - Yoga Class
11:30am-12pm - Lunch (lunch is not provided)
12pm-1pm - Yoga Games (eg: yoga pose memory, obstactle course, pose challenge, learn block sequencing and much more)
1pm-2pm - Yoga Arts & Crafts (eg: paint your own mandala, pipe cleaner fav. pose, glitter calming bottles and of course much more)
2pm - Pick Up Time
This camp was designed to enrich your childs mind, body and spirit, while providing your child with a fun, creative and educational experience in a supportive environment.
This will be such a fun filled week I can't wait to experience it with your child. Payment for camp days or the weeks will be paid upon booking to ensure no shows don't happen and so other children don't miss out on the opportunity because of booked space. If your are interested in the camp feel free to contact me about further details and bookings.
Alright, on to pose of the month. This month let's focus on Cobra pose. Can I just take a moment and brag about this benefits of this pose, because this list is awesome
- it strengthens the spine
- stretches the chest and abdomen
- firms the butt
- stimultes abdominal organs
- helps relieve stress
- opens the heart and lungs
- soothes sciatica
Are you already on your mat eagerly awaiting instruction? Well let's get you started then shall we?
Let's start out by laying on our stomach, rest your hands lightly on the floor next to your chest. Inhale and start to straighten your arms to help you use your back to lift your chest up and forward. Focus on lengthening the spine and draw the shoulders back and down. Keep the back of your neck long and your lower body strong. You can either move with your breath and inhale lifting up and exhale, slowly lowering back to the floor or hold the pose for 3-5 breathes. When you're ready to come out of the pose, exhale and slowly lower you chest to the floor, Inhale and push back into child's pose to rest and release the lower back.
Feel's great right? I think so.
It's Recipe time! Now who out there doesn't love a good cup of tea? Me? I would drink nothing but tea if I could.
So let me ask you if you have ever heard of Chaga Tea? If you have, you probably already know how amazing it is for you, but for those of you who haven't...let me fill you in. ( be ready for some knowledge folks)
Chaga is a mushroom that almost exclusively grows on birch trees and resembles a large growth of burnt bark. Inspite of it's apperance, this mushroom is referred to by many as "the diamond in the forest" and swear by it's all natural medicinal benefits. One of Chaga's most impressive qualities is it's high levels of antioxidants, along with a viriety of minerals and vitamins. It's listed as one of the top antioxidant foods and greatly over takes better known ones like blueberries and red beans and even rivals potent spices like cinnamon, clove and tumeric. The high levels of antioxidants helps to protect the cells from damage caused by free radicals, especially within the cardiovascular system. Chaga's mineral content includes calcium, iron and maganese while also being abundant with vitamins such as vitamin K, vitamin D and several B vitamins. While all these are highly useful they only represent a fraction of chaga's impressive healing properties. Let's move to the immune system. Not only does it provide nourishment for various elements of the immune system, but it's constituents also act as a natural antimicrobial that effectively combat numerous bacteria, viruses, fungi and even some parasitic worms. (Yes, I went there) The polysaccharides (basically starch molecules) in chaga are useful for promoting the production of white blood cells supporting the body's defense against invading pathogens and it's anti-inflammatory properties help to regulate the immune response by alleviating severe inflammation and high fever, while also being useful in other areas like relieving digestive discomfort.
And lastly, perhaps the most remarkable of all of Chaga's impressive properties is it's effect against cancer, however, it it not yet known how it accomplishes this. Chaga's immune boosting effect is usefule in equipping the body to defend itself against cancer cells.
WOAH!!!! Information overload right? (I encourage you to keep searching the web about it, there's so much information to be had out there)
All this from a mushroom grown on a tree? Incredible. Your cup of chaga tea now feels like it's something superman drinks! So much goodness coming from what seems like such a small cup of tea.
Alright less talk, more action! Let's get brewing Shall we?
So, take a small chunk of you chaga and place in a small sauce pan with at least 2 cups of water
Simmer on medium-low heat (do not boil the water first) until you get your desired concentration (basically the colour of a good steeped tea). Then pour into your favorite mug and enjoy! If you want/need to add a bit of sweetness add a touch of maple syrup or honey.
What to expect for taste you ask? Chaga has a light earthy, vanilla taste (to me anyways) so nothing too drastic if that's what you're thinking
Now, Don't throw that chunk away just yet! This little guy will last you quite sometime! After multiple brews when your tea becomes increasingly clear is when you'll know your chaga has reached it's potential. The number of cups will vary on the tea concentration. What to do with your chaga inbetween brews? Simply store in a container and place it in your freezer til your ready for next time.
So to your next question....Where do I buy this amazing chaga. Well I just happen to know a wonderful couple located in parry sound who are committed to sustainable wild-harvesting chaga. Say hello to Phil and Sonya and Muskoka Chaga
Here are links to their FaceBook Page https://www.facebook.com/muskokachaga/ and to their website http:/www.muskokachaga.com/ Where you can place orders online. I also hope to have some jars available here at the studio for purchase as well.
Here is a great Chaga Latte recipe http://trulyorganicfoods.com/blog/immunity-chaga-latte/
Well, we have reached the end of this month's blog. I hope to see all of you amazing yogis in class soon, but until then Be Stronger, Braver, Kinder, Fiercer and Unstoppable!!
Shannon Hawman xoxoxo
P.S.- Raffle tickets are still available so get yours soon. The draw is coming up fast!!
Cheers To You And To 2017!
|Posted on January 1, 2017 at 3:40 PM||comments (669)|
So another new year is upon us, so please raise your glass with me and say "Cheers" to another New year and for giving us another chance to get it right! Ok, ok, I know there's no getting it right really, but I'm sure there's a few of us out there who feel like this is our chance to restart, to begin a new and better chapter. A chance to rewrite ourselves into a new, better version of who we think we should be. And it's here, you're probably thinking I'm going to start the big long awaited speech about New Year's resolutions, change this and do that...Well I hate to disappoint you but that's not going to happen today. I see no point in putting added pressure on you ( we do that enough to ourselves) I don't believe that a resolution is easy to stick to either. How many resolutions have gone by that you have actually fulfilled and still stick to today? How many of them, when you think back make you feel bad about yourself in some way and even worse when they've gone by unfulfilled? Why do we feel as though the new year is about tearing ourselves down. Sure, I understand why we do it, but we do always find the hardest things to change and after a month or two we give up. Why do we give up? Is it because we are tired or tearing ourselves apart when instead we should be build ourselves up? Are we changing something that just can't be changed in a month or two? Are we picking something that makes us who we truly are that shouldn't be changed? I'm not saying that all resolutions are bad and that they are all unattainable. Really we are amazing creatures and can do anything we put our minds to. I just think that resolutions can be flawed and we are made to think BIG!.
So, where am I getting with all this blabbing you say? What is there left to do other than new year resolutions? Well if you are a constant reader of my newsletters/blog you may remember way back to my very first one (WOW!! It's been a year already!!) I wrote to you about a common part of most yoga practices. Setting Intentions. Here's a link if you'd like to reread it
But in a nutshell setting an intention is naming something you'd like to attain, with more of your focus on the journey (which could be learning new, incredible things about yourself) You know that saying "It's all about the journey not the end result" Huh... sounds like your awesome journey with your yoga practice, "it's not about about being able to touch your toes, but what you learn on the way there". So let's switch gears this year and forget about resolutions and try setting a or some intentions. Here is a simple guideline to help you along:
1) Keep It Simple - even the tone of it needs to be positive!! So if your intent is to destress I DON'T want to hear you say to yourself "my intention is to fight this stupid stress!"
2) Aim For Short Term - it's more practical to set your intention for short term rather than long term. You can still think "Big Picture", just divvy it up into smaller pieces.
3) Make Sure It Can Evolve - our minds are very clever. When something new comes along it's intrigued. but then as time passes we get bored. The end goal here is to polish and enhance.
Ok, so when you've set your intention let's take another step in helping to attain it. I myself, go with goal setting. These are little steps along the way to get you closer to your intention. (baby steps, my friends) These could be small things to do or little reminders here and there to keep you moving or even do both! Planners, post it notes, cell phone reminders all help to keep you mentally aware of where you want to go. There's now and app called Intent to help you with your intentions. It was created by the same woman (Mallika Chopra) who wrote the book I talked about "Living With Intent" in my first blog (again if you haven't read it, try it out, it's an awesome read) So open up to that first blank page of your new 365 page book and write your own story. I think I'm going to call my first chapter 'Opportunity' What about you? Don't forget that I'm always here to help you along the way if I can to get you moving along your journey if needed.
Alright... moving on to pose on the month. Let's start the year off with a warrior's heart, ready to tackle this new year with courage, strength, focus and discipline.
This pose won't need much of an introduction and is almost always used in every one of my classes. I give you .... Warrior II pose.
This pose's primary focus is building heat and strength. When holding this pose, be steady and breath deeply, you can help increase your ability to deal with stress by doing so. Warrior II helps to strengthen your quadriceps, hamstrings, hip abductors (outer hip) and shoulders as well as stretching your hip abductors and hip flexors.
Right, now getting into the pose. Let's start with our right foot forward and step back with our left foot making sure our heels are aligned in a straight line as you open your hips to the long edge of the mat. Bend the front right knee stacking it over the ankle while straightening the back leg. Bring the arms up so they are parallel to the floor reaching out in opposite directions through the fingers. Engage the abdominal muscles and relax your shoulders back and down. If you start to feel fatigued, focus on your hands and breath. To decrease the intensity or have a slight modification, you can slightly straighten the front bent leg, or shorten your stance or both. For shoulder discomfort you can bring the hands to prayer position.
Mmmmmm Can you smell what's up ahead? Oh I think you will when you make up this dish. Your house will smell amazing all day while it cooks away. So since the holidays are over, I'm sure most of us don't really want to break out any more of our impressive cooking skills for awhile. So let's break out our crock pots and get ready, shall we?
Let me introduce to you my easy BBQ Pot roast.
This will require minimal effort, but jammed packed full of taste. So here is a list of what you're going to need
1 boneless beef pot roast
1 bag of small yellow potatoes Washed
1 bag baby carrots (I recommend organic) You can use carrots if you have the time to peel and cut
1 small onion -diced or chopped into small wedges however you like
1 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce ( I love Dad's gluten free original bbq sauce)
1/3-1/2 cup of water
2-3 tbsp of flour (optional - used to thicken the gravy at the end but I never use it)
Ok, so minimal effort remember? Place the pot roast in the crock pot. Take the small bag of potatoes, wash and cut into halves and put into the pot. Take the bag of baby carrots and add them to the crock pot. Now dice up your onions(or whatever size you you wish to cut them) and add them to the pot.Find your bbq sauce and measure out about 1 cup (I tend to use a bit more because it's so good) then using the same cup with the sauce in it, add about 1/2 cup of water to it and mix them together quick. Pour over top of everything in the pot, cover it with the lid and turn it on low and let it cook about 7-9 hours (works great for work days) or on high for 5-6 hours.
Hopefully you aren't home all day smelling this because you will be drooling all day. Find a bib if this happens
When it's ready, I pull out my big serving platter. Remove the pot roast first and slice up (*Remember to those annoying strings!)Then start scooping out all the veggies and surround your roast with them. Here you can add the flour to the gravy to thicken it, but I always skip this I find it's perfect the way it is and I just laddle it out into a gravy boat or if it's just my family I reuse the measuring cup from earlier. (Less dishes my friends, don't judge me
Now you have this beautiful platter full of food that looks like you've slaved away for hours when really your prep time was what? 20 mins? (I'm being generous here
What are you waiting for? Eat up and enjoy Oh! if you have any leftovers, the roast makes for a great sandwich the next day. But I will admit... we never have any leftovers. Shameful I know, but we do love our food here
So again we are at the end of another letter/blog post. I hope you found it useful and enjoyable. I will hopefully see you all soon in class ready to tackle the new year with your heart full of love, peace, patience, kindness and forgiveness.
Namaste my friends
Shannon Hawman xoxoxo