Healing and becoming whole with nature, beauty and yoga's wisdom.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Brown Sugar Magnolia



I overheard a passerby comment to a friend "New York City goes from cold to a hot. Where's spring?" This is where developing a mindfulness practice comes in.  If I was in the conversation I would have pointed out baby springs magnolia blossoms on the street's corner already transitioning towards the ground and creating a brownish pink blanket around the tree's base. Like the blanket you put around a Xmas tree's base. The secret to enjoying a NYC spring is to pay attention.




Gandhiji's lotus feet in Union Square adorned with fallen Magnolia petals.





At Union Square market although the temperature is damp and cold the vendors are enticing shoppers with colorful flowers to plant.




I love this pink. Even though I'm tempted to buy a few flowers to plant on my terrace I'm holding off until after Mother's Day. Plenty of green thumbs I know tell me to hold off until we are into May because springs nippy temperature turns warm as we enter summer's advent.



hooded sweatshirt http://www.oldnavy.com/


Me on my barren terrace. Waiting to adorn it with flowers.




boots http://www.forever21.com/

This is a grunge earth day look. Today I'm not out and about and teaching. Since I'm keeping it on the down lo, my look covers up my yoga gear in a chic sweat suit relaxed way.


sweater vest http://www..forever21.com/ belt http://www.jjill.com/

I love this lacy sweater vest over my son's hooded sweatshirt which is made more feminine with a wide brown belt. The boots keep my toes warm and toughen up this look.




necklace NYC street vendor

I have a dressing rule that some may call obsessive, I call it coordinating. For instance, my boots have brass eyelets for it's laces while my sweat shirt's zipper and belt buckle is brushed silver. To bring the hardware of my outfit together I picked this necklace which has a combo of brushed silver, brass, gold and even pewter accents. I recommend adding necklaces like this into your wardrobe. They come in very handy in bringing pieces together


agave nectar http://www.organicsyrups.biz/

This week I had a visitor over looking for some sugar to sweeten her tea. I offered her agave nectar and she cringed. I looked for sugar and found some left over brown sugar I've used in the past for baking. Again she frowned she wanted white sugar. I said we don't keep the white devil in this house although it creeps in the most interesting of ways like being disguised in fruity drinks, sweetened yogurts and probably a handful of other mysterious ways that have been overlooked.

I use agave nectar because it has a light sweet taste, easier to clean up than honey and most importantly because it doesn't spike up our blood sugar level as fast as white sugar does. Agave's sugar has a slow absorption rate into our bloodstream.

After warming up with some tea, soy milk and agave nectar it is time to practice a little yoga.


Warrior 2 feet, legs and hips

Since February I've been teaching bird poses. Now that we're in April's last week and moving into more consistent warm weather it is time to add a new theme into my yoga practice and teaching regimen.

With Gandhi, a peaceful warrior being a repetitive subject in my consciousness, skirt season ahead and now that it is almost May... I feel it is a good time to revisit our New Year's wish and ask ourselves "Has it blossomed?" Whether the answer is yes or no it always takes a combination of peaceful grounding and a warrior's strength to put feet on any intention and watch it branch out and grow in it's own timing. That is the trickiness of a wish. It always shows up when we least expect it and with different faces than we imagined would deliver it. Again this is where having a mindfulness practice comes in handy. The art of paying attention enables us to not miss our wishes manifesting in front of us.

My new practice focus: Warrior postures. The warrior of the moment is Warrior 2. There's so much to share about this pose. Let's start with the basics...



align the shoulders over the hips

 The front bent knee is turned out from the hip while back leg is long and turned in slightly from the hip. Because the legs are opposite, one turned in and the other out, your hips will be uneven. Never look for perfection just a feeling of grounding, space and easy breathing.


back view with hands on hips.

Here you can easily see how my hips are uneven. This posture is a leg strengthener and a standing hip opener. In my mind I ask my tailbone to descend and my front pockets to open. Little by little and practice after practice my body listens and starts to take on the Warrior's shape.




Feeling my shoulders over my hips extend your arms out shoulder height. Note how my fingers are not spreading wide apart.





Here's the back arm extension.



gaze over the bent knee's extended arm and fingers

What I love about taking pictures of my practice is now I see how my arms are not level although they feel it. Yoga practice is one of the few movement regimens you can do and slowly improve as you age and practice. I've never heard of a 90 year old run better than they did in their 30's.





My color inspiration for the week ahead. Brown, cream, white and varying shades of pink.

By the way my tights above are from Old Navy and tank from Forever 21. I decided to GY them after the shoot. Meaning I'll wash and give them away. The tights had their days with me and the tank is great for wearing a standard bra and not showing the straps however the tank is a little baggy for me.