We hope to bring a smile to your face. With the motto “Love, Laugh, Yoga and Tai Chi” in our mind, we would like to enrich your days, motivate you, and keep your mind positive.
FALL INTO FALL
We are slowly approaching the middle of fall and as the days are getting shorter and colder, trees are becoming barer, we might start feeling lazier, more tempted to skip exercise, just wanting to bundle up in a cozy blanket with a good book in our hands. Although it is good to listen to our body and maybe decrease the intensity of our practice and pay more attention to relaxing, keeping our daily practice going makes us feel good about ourselves. It will keep us energized and positive for the rest of the day. If we are used to more intense workouts we can possibly change them to more restorative or relaxing yoga or tai chi practice as we go with the flow of seasons. If we do not exercise on a regular basis including 15-20 minutes gentle movement will make our body stronger and our mind more relaxed.
So let us ask, “How am I feeling today? Have I noticed changes in my physical or mental states as we all struggle with Covid pandemic? Did my life change a lot or am I going about my daily routines as usual ignoring all the changes? Do I feel stressed with every morning feeling anxious about what will come next or am I lethargic, not caring what comes, or am I welcoming each day as it unfolds in its natural way?”
Stopping and becoming aware of how we are is a great start to taking control over our lives. Taking time for self-reflection in any form can connect us more with ourselves and help us find a way out of this craziness we are placed in. We can become aware and acknowledge in our mind our state of being as it is. We can even take a pen and describe it as a note to ourselves in a journal. We can call our friend or loved one and share how we feel today without pretending anything. As we do so we might notice the tiny nuances of our thoughts which might be changing from one moment to the other. We might become aware of how much better we feel on sunny and bright days than on cloudy and rainy days. And as we do, with this awareness in the foreground of our mind we might just simply accept the changes as something natural. We might let go of resisting them, fighting them or ignoring them.
“Fall has always been my favorite season. The time when everything bursts with its last beauty, as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale.”
– Lauren Destefano
Among the Rocks
Oh, good gigantic smile o’ the brown old earth,
This autumn morning! How he sets his bones
To bask i’ the sun, and thrusts out knees and feet
For the ripple to run over in its mirth;
Listening the while, where on the heap of stones
The white breast of the sea-lark twitters sweet. That is the doctrine, simple, ancient, true; Such is life’s trial, as old earth smiles and knows. If you loved only what were worth your love, Love were clear gain, and wholly well for you: Make the low nature better by your throes! Give earth yourself, go up for gain above!
Yoga poses that can be beneficial to practice in the Fall:
• Tadasana (Mountain Pose)
• Vrksasana (Tree Pose)
• Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend)
• Malasana (Garland Pose)
• Dandasana (Staff Pose)
• Ardha Matsyendrasana (Half Lord of the Fishes Pose)
• Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend)
• Upavistha Konasana (Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend)
• Jathara Parivartanasana (Revolved Abdomen Pose or supine twist)
• Viparita Karani (Legs-up-the-Wall Pose)
• Savasana (Corpse Pose)
Although Tai Chi for Diabetes flow was designed by Dr. Paul Lam and his physician, and Tai Chi colleagues with the idea to comfort those who infrequently exercise or those dealing with diabetes in mind, it is a wonderful sequence that can help anyone relax from daily stress. This flow includes two halves of approximately ten forms each and can be followed without difficulty.
Here is the first half of the flow:
- Commencement movement
- Open and close
- Waving hands in the cloud
- Open and close
- Fair Lady Working at the Shuttle to both sides
- Open and close
- Toe Kicks
- Open and Close
- Waving hands in the cloud to the right
- Open and Close
- Closing Movement
“Notice that autumn is more the season of the soul than of nature.”
– Friedrich Nietzsche
Sweet Potato and Butternut Squash Dish:
This simple, but nutritional (Vata nourishing) dish goes great with the Fall season. Most ingredients are harvested in this season and can be easily found in grocery stores. It is great for lunch or dinner. This dish vibrates with fall colors and melts under one’s tongue.
2 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter) or extra virgin olive oil
1-inch piece leek, finely chopped
¼ tsp of Asafoetida (garlic-like flavored spice, called also Hing)
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into ¼ inch wedges
1 cup raw peeled, seeded, and coarsely chopped butternut squash
3tbs finely chopped parsley
3tbs chopped fresh thyme leaves
2tbs lemon juice
½ cup of vegetable stock, filtered water or whey
3tbs cream or vegan substitute
freshly ground black pepper
- Heat ghee or olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the leek and sauté for around 3 minutes
- Stir in the asafetida, then the sweet potato and squash. Sauté, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes.
- Add the parsley, thyme, lemon juice, and veggie stock. Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the vegetables are tender, 8 to 10minutes.
- Stir in the cream or vegan substitute (coconut cream) and season to taste with herb salt and pepper. Soak until thoroughly heated through, 2 to 3 minutes more. Serve immediately.
If your body does not digest well leek, or you do not like Asafoetida you can omit it (Pitta Dosha). You can also use fresh dill instead.
If you do not like sweet potato and butternut squash (or you are Kapha Dosha) you can make this dish with cauliflower and green beans and you can use corn or safflower oil instead of the ghee.