Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The weekend on Pelee was really lovely. It was great to see friends, enjoy the delicious harvest dinner, and spend some time a bit closer to nature.
This week I'm busy working on all the schoolwork I didn't do over the weekend!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Its been busy week with school and yoga... so to relax I'm heading down to Pelee Island for the weekend with my girlfriends D, L, E and S! Hopefully we'll have great weather, but either way I'm sure it will be a blast. I'll be sure to post some pics when I get back.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Another reason:

We Can't Afford McCain and Palin's Anti-Science Beliefs

By John Tirman, AlterNet. "Their combined anti-science positions may be devastating for the economy, the environment and our health."

Monday, September 22, 2008

check out my the new website i'm working on for my yoga!

Southern Spiced Roasted Veggies and Quinoa

I'm on a roll with making up recipes here!

(what's quinoa?)

Wash and chop into bite sized pieces, then set aside
3-4 large Kale leaves,

- 2-3 medium sweet potatos
- 1 large red pepper
- 1 small red onion
- 6 cloves of garlic

combine veggies them in a bowl with:
2-3 T olive
1 T cumin
1 t chili powder
1 t cinnamon
1 t sea salt

put the veggie mix on a pan and broil until the potatoes are cooked through and everything is getting golden brown, about 30 minutes.

in the mean time, cook 2 cups of quinoa in 4 C water. (its good to rise it first). bring to a boil, then simmer on low for 15-20 minutes until soft and fluffy. Remove from burner. Mix in kale, so it gets steamed in heat of quinoa.

Mix the roasted veggies with the quinoa/kale.
Add 2-3 T balsamic vinegar
1/4 C + chopped cilantro or parsley.

taste and add more cumin, chili, and salt if desired.
Serve warm or chilled. Makes 4-6 servings.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Yoga Teacher Training reflection assignment...
6. Opening to Grace
Every day Grace is happening in big and small ways in our lives, through blessings, guidance, coincidence, synchronicity, moments of inspiration, etc. Write about two events that occur in the time span of Module 2 where you are aware of Grace in your life.

September 21, 2008
Since I’ve moved back to Waterloo at the beginning of September, it’s been really great reconnecting with old friends here. However, I’m connecting with new people in university classes, in yoga classes, even on the bus in ways I hadn’t for years.
I remember when I was a child I made friends so easily- I would meet someone on the playground or on a camping trip with my family and instantly have a new playmate.
But somewhere between then and now, I became hesitant and scared of meeting new people, I was closing inwards.
However, something shifted during the my YTT. I feel much more open-hearted and less afraid of people and of making friends. In the YTT I discovered how we're not all so separate as I used to think. Connecting with others just starts with an open-heart and a smile. It something that takes practice for me, but its become more effortless again, like it was when I was a child.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

big batch of ginger-peace-almond muffins

mix and let it sit to get gelatinous
1/4 C ground flax and 2/3 C water

in a large bowl mix:
4 C flour
2 t baking powder
2 t baking soda
1 t sea salt
1-2 T cinnamon
4 T fresh grated ginger
1 C ground almond
1/2 veg or olive oil

to the flax mix in:
1/3 c pure apple butter
1/3 + C pure maple syrup

mix the wet and dry ingredients. then add 4 C chopped peaces.
spoon into muffin tins, and then sprinkle with cinnamon

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Eve Ensler, the American playwright, performer, feminist and activist
best known for "The Vagina Monologues", wrote the following about Sarah

Drill, Drill, Drill

I am having Sarah Palin nightmares. I dreamt last night that she was
a member of a club where they rode snowmobiles and wore the claws of
drowned and starved polar bears around their necks. I have a particular
thing for Polar Bears. Maybe it's their snowy whiteness or their bigness
or the fact that they live in the arctic or that I have never seen one
in person or touched one. Maybe it is the fact that they live so
comfortably on ice. Whatever it is, I need the polar bears.

I don't like raging at women. I am a Feminist and have spent my life
trying to build community, help empower women and stop violence against
them. It is hard to write about Sarah Palin. This is why the Sarah Palin
choice was all the more insidious and cynical. The people who made this
choice count on the goodness and solidarity of Feminists.

But everything Sarah Palin believes in and practices is antithetical
to Feminism which for me is part of one story -- connected to saving the
earth, ending racism, empowering women, giving young girls options,
opening our minds, deepening tolerance, and ending violence and war.

I believe that the McCain/Palin ticket is one of the most dangerous
choices of my lifetime, and should this country chose those candidates
the fall-out may be so great, the destruction so vast in so many areas
that America may never recover. But what is equally disturbing is the
impact that duo would have on the rest of the world. Unfortunately,
this is not a joke. In my lifetime I have seen the clownish, the inept,
the bizarre be elected to the presidency with regularity.

Sarah Palin does not believe in evolution. I take this as a metaphor.
In her world and the world of Fundamentalists nothing changes or gets
better or evolves. She does not believe in global warming. The melting
of the arctic, the storms that are destroying our cities, the pollution
and rise of cancers, are all part of God's plan. She is fighting to
take the polar bears off the endangered species list. The earth, in
Palin's view, is here to be taken and plundered. The wolves and the
bears are here to be shot and plundered. The oil is here to be taken and plundered. Iraq is here to be taken and plundered. As she said herself of the Iraqi war, "It was a task from God."

Sarah Palin does not believe in abortion. She does not believe women
who are raped and incested and ripped open against their will should
have a right to determine whether they have their rapist's baby or not.

She obviously does not believe in sex education or birth control. I
imagine her daughter was practicing abstinence and we know how many
babies that makes.

Sarah Palin does not much believe in thinking. From what I gather she
has tried to ban books from the library, has a tendency to dispense with
people who think independently. She cannot tolerate an environment of
ambiguity and difference. This is a woman who could and might very well
be the next president of the United States . She would govern one of the
most diverse populations on the earth.

Sarah believes in guns. She has her own custom Austrian hunting
rifle. She has been known to kill 40 caribou at a clip. She has shot
hundreds of wolves from the air.

Sarah believes in God. That is of course her right, her private
right. But when God and Guns come together in the public sector, when
war is declared in God's name, when the rights of women are denied in
his name, that is the end of separation of church and state and the
undoing of everything America has ever tried to be.

I write to my sisters. I write because I believe we hold this
election in our hands. This vote is a vote that will determine the
future not just of the U.S. , but of the planet. It will determine
whether we create policies to save the earth or make it forever
uninhabitable for humans. It will determine whether we move towards
dialogue and diplomacy in the world or whether we escalate violence
through invasion, undermining and attack. It will determine whether we
go for oil, strip mining, coal burning or invest our money in
alternatives that will free us from dependency and destruction. It will
determine if money gets spent on education and healthcare or whether we
build more and more methods of killing. It will determine whether
America is a free open tolerant society or a closed place of fear,
fundamentalism and aggression.

If the Polar Bears don't move you to go and do everything in your
power to get Obama elected then consider the chant that filled the hall
after Palin spoke at the RNC, "Drill Drill Drill." I think of teeth when
I think of drills. I think of rape. I think of destruction. I think of
domination. I think of military exercises that force mindless
repetition, emptying the brain of analysis, doubt, ambiguity or dissent.
I think of pain.

Do we want a future of drilling? More holes in the ozone, in the
floor of the sea, more holes in our thinking, in the trust between
nations and peoples, more holes in the fabric of this precious thing we
call life?

Eve Ensler
September 5, 2008

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Sad stat of the day:
In North America, humans now spend approximately 90 percent of their time indoors and a further 5 percent in cars, leaving only 5 percent of the time when they are outdoors (Leech et al, 1996)
I'm not sure if this is waking time or based on 24-hour day. But still, we need to be outside more, trees and earth and sky is so much more inspiring than four walls and furniture!!! enjoy it while you can before it gets too cold! (if you're reading from somewhere in N. America that is). This stat is pretty accurate for me in the winter, but this summer I often spent 4-5 hours outside everyday.

I got this stat from an interesting report on Urban Ecosystems and Human Health that i'm reading for my Environment and Resource Studies course called "Building Sustainable Communities"

Monday, September 15, 2008

This evening I made up two recipes all by myself!
(the soup is an attempt to replicated something i had a veg resto in montreal- my variation is a bit more complex, might i say, more delicious?)

Sweet and Savory Beet Soup
6-8 beets (less if they're really big ones, more if they're tiny)
1 small head of garlic
1 large leek, thinly sliced up to the start of the dark green park
1 small onion, chopped
5 C water + 1.5 vegetable bullion OR 5 C vegetable stock
1 C brown (french) lentils, rinsed
2 T pure maple syrup
1/2 t. fresh ground black pepper
1 T fresh parsley (or 1 t dried)
1 T 1 T fresh rosemary (or 1 t dried)
1 T fresh thyme (or 1 t dried)
1-2 cups green or yellow beans, cut into bit sized pieces (optional)

1. Rap the beets (washed but not peeled) and the head of garlic in tin foil and roast in the oven for 1 hour at 375 degrees. (toaster ovens are great for this!)
2. Meanwhile, prepare other ingredients
3. Sauté the leek and onion in a bit of olive oil for several minutes until tender
4. Peel and chop the beets into bit-sized pieces and squeeze the cloves of garlic out of their skins.
4. Add the beets, garlic, stock, maple syrup, lentils, pepper, and herbs to the leek and onion.
5. Bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer for 40 minutes or until the lentils are tender.
6. 5-10 Minutes before serving add the green beans and continue to simmer.

Brown rice and lentil pilaf
1 small onion, chopped
1 pepper, any color will do, chopped
a handful of mushrooms, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 C brown rice (rinsed)
1 C brown/french lentils (rinsed, check for pebbles!)
4 C water
1/2 t sea salt or vegetable salts
1/2 t thyme
a dash of pepper

1. Sauté the vegetables until tender in vegetable or olive oil
2. add spices, rice, lentils and salt.
3. bring to a boil uncovered
4. once boiling, reduce to low temperature and simmer for 45 minutes, or until the rice and lentils are tender.

and serve with love...

tell me what you think if you have a chance to give them a try!

(image from http://pinchmysalt.files.wordpress.com)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Savory Sun-dried Tomato bread or muffins

3 C flour ( i used a combo of slept, kamut and chickpea flours)
1 T baking powder
1/2 t salt
1 T cumin seeds
2 T+ ground cumin
1/2 T cayenne (optional)
1/2-3/4 C finely chopped sun-dried tomato
1 T olive oil
1 1/2 C water

Mix the dry ingredients together in a medium boil. Then slowly add the wet ingredients until a thick sticky dough forms. Place into oiled muffin tins or a bread pan and bake at 350 (20-30 mins for muffins- until knife comes out clean), or 40-50 mins for bread.

(for a variation you could try adding kalamata olives, maybe 1/2 C olives and less sun-dried tomatoes.)
I taught my 2nd class today in Waterloo Park. I was really nervous for some reason that few people would show up- which turned out to be futile, because 14 people came. (Including Joan Schaner- who after my class let me know that she wants me to teach at her studio- hoorah!!). I think I was able to offer a meaningful experience for students, and got good feedback after class that people felt different/better after the class and had fun. I kept my theme simple, talking about staying centred in the midst of transition. I think this was good, and it connected to where most of my students, who are area also university students, feel this week because it’s the start of a new semester. I shared the theme from my heart by talking about how my personal practice had helped me feel grounded and centred through the week. At the end of the class I invited everyone to take a moment to set an intention to take yoga into their week; for example, by being more mindful about their posture, by posing to take a deep breath in a difficult situation.
My sequencing was ok, but I think if it weren’t for the strong theme and my enthusiasm it wouldn’t have held together on its own so well. I taught some difficult poses like navasana and bakasana. It was my edge to teach these in the park to intermediate/beginners with no props. I think I could have done a better job if I could have given assists and variations using props. I did a demo for bakasana and thought I was clear about the main points, but when people came into the pose they weren’t applying them. So, I need to find more ways to say the same things and repeat it a few times. Or for more visual learners I could have demoed one correct pose and another incorrect pose to accentuate the key points. Over all though, it was a good class and I felt a really positive vibe and response from the group. One thing I really appreciated was that people lingered to chat with each other and ask me questions- it feels really good to be facilitating the building of community- KULA!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

tonight i'm watching....

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Squash, over the last few years, has become one of my favorite things about fall. You can do so many things with it and meld it with a great range of flavors.

So far, butternut is my favorite, mostly because I've got lots of good recipes for it. This fall I'm going to experiment with buttercup and acorn and whatever else i get my hands on.

Here's a recipe I've adapted from La Dolce Vegan, I'm calling it...

Butternut Dhal
1 small onion, chopped
1 T olive oil
2 inches fresh ginger, grated
2 C butternut squashed, cubed
2 C vegetable stock
2 medium tomatoes, chopped (or a 14 oz can of diced toms)
1/2 C red lentils
1/2 t salt +
1/2 t ground pepper
1/4 C chopped cilantro

in a medium soup pot, sauté onion in oil until translucent. Add the ginger and squash and sauté for 5 minutes. Add all other ingredients, except the cilantro. Bring to a boil and then reduce temp and simmer for 15-20 until squash is cooked. Add cilantro. Blend with a hand blender or food processor. Makes 2-3 large servings and 4-5 small.

I've also been discovered the deliciousness of steamed greens lately. On my plate tonight was a mix of beet greens and kale with sea salt.

tell me what you think of the recipe if you try it!

Monday, September 08, 2008

-wandering around kitchener
-using my austrian Klimpt bag
-cooking butternut squash that was larger than many newborn babies
-my roommates being awesome and making me laugh

we had family dinner tonight. I made ginger-pear-peach rice pudding.

purée together until smooth...
-2-2.5 cups cooked brown rice
-2+ cups peaches and pears, or other seasonal soft fruits
-1/2 cup maple syrup
-1/2 cup milk (soy, rice, almond or cow)
-1+ T grated fresh ginger
sprinkle with cinnamon before serving (optional)

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Time to start working on a couple more YTT assignments...

9. Teach 4 Yoga Classes
Note to Summer Intensive participants: this portion is to be done after the 3-week-training.
Teach at least 4 yoga classes (45 to 90 minutes each) to friends, relatives or students. Take a risk and share your passion for yoga. Write approximately half page per class describing your experience. What did you appreciate about how you taught, and what was your teaching edge (challenge)? What did you learn? 2-3 pages.

September 4, 2008

Today I taught my first post-teacher training yoga class in Waterloo Park. I emailed a group of friends who I thought might me interested and told them to invite others. A group of 15 showed up! That was surprising and exciting. We found a lovely spot on the boardwalk by the pond, and I think everyone really enjoyed practicing outside. It was a mixed group or students some of who have studied for several years in various styles and a few newbies. It was challenging to try to teach to all levels, making it basic enough yet giving the more advanced students some challenge.

What I appreciated about the way I taught was my enthusiasm and my love for yoga. Not everyone was relaxed to start off, but my the middle when everyone was working their abs to the max people were loosing up and relaxing and I was able to like some humor and light-heartedness shine through in my teaching. This is the best part of teaching- when you can really convey how fun yoga is and share your passion and enthusiasm. I feel that the more experience and comfortable I get with alignment, breath and sequencing instruction the more this can flow naturally.

This email from one of my students and my response help to convey my teaching edge (my challenge and place to work on)….

hi L.
great class this morning. i really liked the rest at the end and all the feedback.
you're probably aware of this already, but the one thing i'd suggest is being a little more sensitive to whether people prefer to be corrected verbally or by touch. if there's a way for you to correct posture without addressing me by name, that would be my preference. overall though, i enjoyed the class. i hope you'll let me know if you're doing any more, or if you begin teaching through a studio (or WYC)...

hey T.
thanks for coming this morning and for your feedback.

knowing when its better to make verbal or physical adjustments is something we talk about a lot in teacher training. it takes much practice as well as intuition to know what would be more effective for someone. in my training we're taught to use both so we can reach both kinesthetic and auditory learners- so i guess it just takes time to figure out how different people in your classes respond best.
i also appreciate knowing that you prefer to be corrected without using your name. i'm sorry if you felt i was singling you out. naming people for adjustments and enhancements to the posture is also tricky. we're taught to give general adjustment terms if we see several people who could benefit from the adjustment. if its just one person in specific needs the adjustment, or if someone didn't get the more nuanced instruction to the group we're taught to kindly instruct them individually, in order to be quick and effective. i agree with the way i've been taught, but definitely recognize that it's an area that i can work on cultivating sensitivity with. and also just getting to know individual students will help me know their learning preferences and how they respond best. - so thanks for being honest and making the figuring out easier for me!

if you have another other feedback ever, i really appreciate it. and i'll definitely keep you in the loop when i teach again, and if i find any gigs at local studios!


Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Peach Salsa, by L and A

12 large field tomatoes, diced, seeds removed
1 large red onion
2-3 cloves garlin, minced
2 sweet peppers, diced
1 large red onion, diced1 jalapeno pepper, chopped very finely
2-3 other small spicy peppers of your choice
8-10 peaches, diced
1/4 C lime juice
1 t salt
1 t cumin
1 t cinnamon
1/2-1 C fresh minced cilantro

1. core and chop tomatoes (you can peel them if you like, i didn't bother, there's lots of vitamins in those skins)
2. put diced tomatoes in a large pot and bring to a simmer, allow the tomatoes to simmer, uncovered until they get soft. (if there is lots of juice, take off as much as you can. you can save it in the freezer for vegetable soups).
3. while tomatoes are simmering chop onion and garlic, add it to the tomatoes. then add the peppers and peaches, spices and salt once the tomatoes are soft and reduced down.
4. remove from heat and add the cilantro

you could make a smaller batch and chill and serve fresh or you can can the large batch like we did, it makes 4-5 pints.
for water bath canning directions watch this video

Past weekend in Lachute, Quebec chez (at the home of) K., H, and the adorable C. 

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

after our last day most of us went out for indian to celebrate

the whole gang!

partner yoga class

Monday, September 01, 2008

Made it to waterloo this morning at 9am, after 8.5 hours on the bus.  A friend picked me up at the bus stop and i spent the day priming my room for painting (green), scrubbing and arranging the kitchen, and hunting and finding furniture on the side of the road.  

My YTT wrapped up beautifully, it was hard to say goodbye to everyone.  My friend A. and I went up to K.'s country house in Lachute and slept in a big tent under the stars, played with K's Adorable 4-year old daughter and with her chickens, had a fire, and ate poutine.  Sunday we went into montreal to the for brunch at a great little vegan and raw cafe called Crudessense and to the Tam-Tams and met up with some other YTT friends.  The next couple of posts I'll go back and put up some more YTT pics for you!