Can you relate?
That's what we usually think of yoga; bendy, granola-eating, pretzel people who go through life spewing sunshine and rainbows. Except for me, I don't spew rainbows. I toot glitter like Guy Diamond ;)
If you've ever been to a yoga class, you've probably spent a few hours on a mat bending your body into different positions, felt a bit out of your element at times, and looked at other people in the class and thought "how do they do that?". You might have had a teacher encourage you to set an intention, and you may have thought, what the heck is this? It might even have sounded something like this:
I hope that made you smile, even if you've never been to a yoga class.
Just like with any form of exercise, you've probably always felt better after the class, even if it pushed you further than you thought you could go or left you feeling a bit inadequate and unbendy (let's make that a word).
Intentions, poses, the things we learn by going through those poses, are all well good. But the work, if you will, of yoga, the benefit or purpose of yoga, isn't about becoming a pretzel on the mat. It about taking all that off your mat. So how do we do that? How do we take it off the mat and into our lives? How do we develop, strengthen, and trust what I'm going to call our EPS, similar to GPS, but fundamentally different?
That's my intention, to share ways to do just that, to take yoga and other disciplines off the mat. To develop, strengthen, and trust our Emotional Positioning System. Because we need more than just geolocation to navigate our way through life, don't we?
And maybe, just maybe, I'll spew a rainbow or toot some glitter in your direction, too.
Let's start with a little background, shall we? Many moons ago, an Indian scholar names Patanjali compiled the Yoga Sutras. He didn't invent yoga, but he did transcribe a long-standing oral tradition. The Sutras are like a map or instruction manual. They help us use all aspects of yoga to move towards a more meaningful life and to find contentment . Most of us think of yoga as bendy postures that wrap us like pretzels, and that's all well and good, but that's not really what yoga is all about.
Yoga is all about cultivating a connection your self, your inner life, so it matches your outer life and leaves you feeling whole. Ghandi said, "happiness is when that you think, what you do, and what you say are in harmony". I don't know about you, but that sure sounds like contentment to me. That's yoga It's a tool to help you get there. That tool has eight parts, and Asanas, or yoga poses, aren't even the first of them.
There are eight limbs to yoga roughly translated as:
1. Yamas - attitudes toward the world
2. Niyamas - attitudes towards self
3. Asanas - yoga postures we're familiar with
4. Pranayama - breathwork
5. Pratyhara - withdrawal from the sense or turning inward
6. Dharana - concentration
7. Dhyana - meditation
8. Samadhi - enlightenment
I love this image from benoityoga.com. It will come in handy as we explore some of these limbs and it gives a simple metaphor for each one.
Over the next weeks I'll be sharing how yoga is meaningful beyond the bendy poses we see on social media, how these eight limbs actually work in real life, and how to take them off the mat.
And that's not all!
Because the yoga mat isn't the only "mat" that we practice on. There are all kinds of mats.
So, I'm looking for guest contributors!
Do you have a practice that you've learned to take off the mat? Send your ideas and let's chat! Comment below or click the email icon at the top of the page to connect with me.
Sometimes you just get inspired. Yup, even 5-year olds get inspired to cook.
This morning my little bird and I were talking about breakfast and I happened to have a cookbook on my nightstand. Is that weird? I mean I have other books too, but I was looking through a new cookbook last night and so it ended up on my nightstand instead of in the kitchen where cookbooks normally live. I love good cookbooks with pictures. I need pictures. I can't make a recipe without pictures. Eating is whole-body experience right? And it starts with your eyes, even when choosing a recipe. So, we we pulled down the cookbook and started looking for something new for breakfast. She spotted a picture of some yummy looking biscuits and said, "let's make these mummy!" And so we did.
Biscuits are relatively easy to make, and easy to turn into scones, but some cooks are quite particular about how to make them. One recipe calls for cutting the cold butter with two knives to ensure it doesn't melt against your fingers. Who's got time for that? Others want you to get your hands messy and dive in there to break everything up. I'm definitely not averse to that since my kitchen always ends up messy in the process of cooking anyway. But this time I pulled out mom's old Sunbeam food processor. Sometimes easy is just, well, easy!
We didn't have dried fruits to add in, but we did have lots of fresh blueberries. After the dough was made and the bloobs (can we just make that a new word?) folded in, we had an intense deliberation of the shape of cookie cutter we should use. This is serious stuff guys. I mean really, there are so many options, but only one would do. The star almost won, but in the end the heart was the chosen one today.
We made these for breakfast and it took about 30 minutes from start to finish, so while you can make them ahead of time, you can also just have a relaxed morning and make them when you get up. Especially if you're using the food processor! About 18 minutes in the oven gave us perfectly browned, perfectly yummy blueberry biscuit/scone hearts. Slather these with butter, homemade berry jam, cream cheese, or any combination of those for a perfectly yummy breakfast.
Easy Peasy Blueberry Biscuits
30 minutes start to finish
400 degrees/Gas 6
Makes 8-16 depending thickness and shape
3 cups all purpose flour (we used whole wheat)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 cup confectioner's sugar (or sugar substitute, adjust amount to your preference)
pinch of salt
1 stick cold butter
2/3 cup cold milk, give or take
1/2 cup fresh blueberries (frozen will be too wet)
Preheat oven to 400 or Gas mark 6. Prep a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Combine all ingredients except milk and blueberries in the food processor. Pulse until you see fine grains. Turn the mixture out into a large bowl. Add milk slowly and combine with a spatula or your hands. As your dough comes together mix in the blueberries gently until you've got a smooth ball. If you're using whole wheat flour you may need more than 2/3 cup milk. The same goes for coconut flour.
When you've got a smooth ball, turn it out onto a floured surface and roll/press into a 1/2-3/4 inch slab. The thickness will depend on how you like these to turn out and the size of your cutters. Cut the biscuits, re-rolling until you use up the dough. Place them on your baking sheet and brush with milk. Bake until done and golden brown, about 15-18 minutes. Serve with butter, jam, cream cheese, or clotted cream (unsweetened whip cream).
Change up your flavors!
What combination are you going to try? Comment below and let me know! Also post a picture of your creation so we can the yumminess you've got cooking up in your kitchen!
I'm Tonia, a Midwesterner transplanted to Colorado. I'm a mom of two lovely littles, a yoga instructor, DIY-er, teacher, stay at home mom, and a doTERRA Wellness Advocate. I blog about a little bit of all of these and everything in between!
Are you looking for natural health options, but don't know where to start? Book a 1-on-1 appointment with me! We'll spend about 30 minutes getting to know your health goals and concerns, learn a bit about doTERRA, and go over the most commonly used oils that meet your needs. You don't have to buy anything, but if you see something you like, of course I can help you!