Archive | October, 2012

The Unbearable Heaviness of Being

22 Oct

This morning’s practice just sucked. I felt like I weighed a million trillion pounds. My hip was killing me. During Trianga, some sort of unpleasantness happened with my right knee and it was very not cool. Perhaps it is time to back off a little, take a break, not work so hard…I am not sure whether to listen to that voice or to continue on. I took two extra days off last week and it didn’t seem to help anything. A lot of my practice just felt like I was going through the painful motions. I know every day is not going to be rainbows and sunshine on the mat, but come on man…ever since I started practicing some of the “sandwich” portion of Primary, I’ve been in more pain and have felt more “stuck” and stiff both on and off the mat. Motherfucking Mari A. I keep getting adjustments in class, but this past week I felt so exhausted and in pain that I didn’t go to class. Just saying it out loud, as my Sponsor always says…I think I’d like to tag this post as FRUSTRATION and RESISTANCE. Maybe also FEAR and RESENTMENT with a steaming hot side of HOPELESSNESS.


Ashtanga Closing Chant

22 Oct

Julia has been teaching us chants in class lately. I know the opening chant now, but I am currently trying to learn the closing chant.  It’s very amusing to hear myself stumble constantly over the words in the early morning!

Sharath, with subtitles:

Guruji by himself, no subtitles:

Call and response with Guruji in Kauai, 2002. Very cute and funny:

I really like Kino’s chanting (surprise!):

Bruno Bartulitch–with subtitles:

Vegan MoFo PMA Burgers: Engine 2 Pumpkin/Mushroom/Adzuki Burgers

18 Oct

I’m sick of paying 6 dollars a box for Sunshine Burgers. I love them, but I am calling shenanigans. The Engine 2 website has a great post with a sort of master make-your-own-veggie- burger “matrix”:

I used this to come up with my own fall-themed burger. I’m on a pumpkin rampage, people!

PMA burgers: Pumpkin, Mushroom, Adzuki Bean/Positive Mental Attitude Burger

(best made while listening to Bad Brains!)

2 tbs ground flax seeds

1 can Eden adzuki beans, drained and mashed

1 cup cooked, diced mushrooms (portobello or porcini work really well)

1 tsp tamari

1 tasp vegan Worcestershire sauce

1 cup bread crumbs of your choice (hint: 2 slices toasted Ezekiel bread in the Vitamix makes exactly enough!)

1 tsp chives

1 tsp parsley

1 tsp thyme

1/2 tsp onion powder

1 tsp nutritional yeast

3 shakes smoked paprika

4 twists fresh ground black pepper

2 tbs non-dairy milk of your choice

1/4 cup pumpkin puree

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Prep a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Sautee the finely chopped mushrooms with tamari and Worcestershire sauce and a little water so they don’t stick. Set aside. Mix flax seeds with 3 tbs warm water and set aside. Drain and rinse your adzuki beans. Mash your adzuki beans in a large bowl, then add bread crumbs. Mix and add mushrooms, then add your pumpkin, flax seed mixture and spices. Add the non-dairy milk last. Mixture should be sticky and firm enough to make patties with your hands. Form six evenly shaped patties and place on parchment paper covered cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes and flip them over. Bake ten more minutes and then eat them up!

Engine 2 Vegan BBQ MoFo Lunch Box

16 Oct



This took me under 30 minutes to make. Oil-free, totally plant-based, from scratch and yummy! The cornbread is the recipe from Happy Herbivore (go buy it, you won’t be sorry). I marinated 6 ounces of Wildwood firm sprouted tofu in BBQ sauce and then grilled them on the stovetop. Cooked greens are a mainstay of my diet. I try to eat at least 4 cups a day of them. They are magic! Here’s the recipe for my greens:

By Any Greens Necessary:

1 tbs minced garlic

3/4 cup veggie broth

1 cup mushrooms of your choice (I love shiitake)

2 tsp vegan Worcestershire sauce

4 cups any rinsed, drained greens, torn into pieces. I used rainbow chard in the picture, but you can use kale, collards, mustard greens, dandelion greens, spinach or bok choy in any combination. I am particularly fond of mustard/dinosaur kale/collards together.

Sautee the mushrooms and garlic in the broth for about 2 minutes. Add the greens and the Worcestershire sauce and cook until wilted but still bright green.

Variation: add a dab of dijon mustard and hickory smoke sauce. If you really want an exciting twist, vegan bacon bits or tempeh bacon with a dab of dijon is super excellent.

I will be eating this tomorrow while my poor coworkers eat Carl’s Jr and Chinese take out. I always offer to share!

Kino MacGregor: The Promise of Yoga

14 Oct

“There’s a certain lesson that each movement, each posture contains. The yoga practice makes a promise to you, and the promise is that you won’t be allowed to move on from your lesson until you really get it. There’s no way that you can fake that, there’s no way you can get a pass.” Ain’t that the freaking truth!

Vegan MoFo: Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

13 Oct


Man, I love me some pumpkin. Except for pie, shockingly…but give it to me in anything else and I am a happy, happy chica.

I know smoothies are now a no-no on Engine 2, but I am follow-the-spirit-of-the-law kinda’ gal…actually, f&ck laws. I like smoothies, I am still losing weight while indulging in them occasionally at home and if I want to have one with breakfast, I will. Dammit. I try to avoid the sugary fruit bomb kind of smoothies because they are too sweet for my sweet Kapha self. In the spirit of everything Fall and Pumpkin-y, here’s my current fave—look Ma, no fruit or added sugars!

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

1 scoop Sun Warrior Warrior Blend protein powder (or any vegan, vanilla flavored protein)

1/2 cup pumpkin puree

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

alternative sweetner to taste

crushed ice to your desired thickness

5 shakes pumpkin pie spice (I like Frontier)

1 tsp. vanilla

Blend and suck it down!

Metta, Movement, Dedication

12 Oct


From the website, “Metta Round the World”, subtitle is “The World Needs Your 15 Minutes.”


I’ve really been struggling to get up early to practice lately. I find my natural night owl tendencies to be extremely difficult to combat. The early morning cold stiffness can also be disconcerting, sometimes even scary. I get worried I am going to tear the crap out of something! I do like the peacefulness of the morning, and I enjoy the moment when I am on my mat in my little Slayer Shala all alone as the sun starts to just barely rise. But man, some days it is just brutal. I also have no social life since I go to bed at like 8:30 during the week! I even joined an online Ashtanga group for practitioners who need support for their early morning practice. I jokingly call it Ashtangi Fight Club since it’s closed to everyone but group members and we don’t talk about it except on the anonymous level. The first rule of Ashtanga Fight Club is…you don’t talk about Ashtanga Fight Club AND you have to get up at 4:45am.

I came up with an idea to motivate me in the morning. I’m dedicating each practice to a different friend or family member who is either struggling with a health problem or is having some sort of difficulty in their life. I make a special playlist for them and then post a song and a dedication to them on my Facebook page. I do some Metta meditation for them both before, during and after my practice. During the times I want to give up, I remind myself that this is for Albert or Cassandra or Denise or Chris–then I don’t want to give up because it’s for them! It’s been an interesting shift in my Ashtanga practice; I find the whole practice session is almost like moving Metta meditation. I also don’t get as angry with my body and its injuries; I’m more forgiving and peaceful.

Update: I realized the youtube video that I had linked to in this post was not working. I was digging around for something else to post and I came across this website, Metta Round the World:

MRTW does a global metta practice on Full and new Moon days—how convenient for Ashtangis! This Monday is a Moon Day, so I am going to contribute my metta meditation that day from afar, since I can’t teleport to Singapore. I love the idea of other people from all over the world meditating at the same time.

October is here, and I have been practicing Ashtanga since the end of March. Obviously, the Ashtanga experiment is no longer an experiment; I’m 100% hooked! I did drag myself to some yin yoga classes here and there, but otherwise I have been plugging away at learning the Primary series. It feels good to no longer be a yoga refugee; I don’t have to hop around from teacher to teacher or style to style anymore. I have a plan and an entire system to study. And it’s a loooooong haul plan—this business is going to take some time. Like the-rest-of-my-life kind of time…surprisingly, I feel just fine with that. Considering what a die-hard commitment-phobe I am, that’s shocking. I look forward to the day when I can study with Kino MacGregor or go to the Confluence. I look forward to the day when I can finish an entire led Primary series class without relying on an arsenal of props. I look forward to my next ass-kicking Ashtanga workshop with Jen Knox. I look forward to tomorrow morning’s practice. I look forward to being changed from the inside out.


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