Sunday, 20 November 2016

A little time after shovelling

Make time for your self. 
The more demanding your life the more you have to take time to take care of yourself.
When you are alive and thriving your light shines for all.

Little routine when you need to replenish. (after shovelling snow?)


Child's pose

The great rejuvenator.
Make a roll with blankets. Bring your legs up the wall and tuck blankets under your pelvis.
Cover your eyes with a towel or eye pillow.
Relax for 10 minutes.

Saturday, 19 November 2016

Friday, 18 November 2016


Photos of the last autumn morning. Snowy ice pellets are now flying at the windows. 
McVicar Creek on my morning dog walk. 

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Week 1 - homework

Self Care

Often we leave ourselves last. I'll do this if I have any time left. Left after what?  Do self care first. It's like in the airplane. If the oxygen masks drop down, you put one on yourself first before you help others. Even your own child. No matter what. You can't help anyone when you are depleted. We have to learn this because we weren't often taught to do this and it may seem selfish. These two things are small steps but powerful steps. So go forth and do your homework.

Here is your homework for this week:

1 - Take a most luxurious bath.
Clean the bathtub first. Get some scents or salts for your bath. Take it slow. Take an hour for the whole experience. Be aware of your body and how it feels to step out of your clothes, how it feels to step into hot water, how water feels, how warmth feels, and how it is to take this time for yourself. Light a candle. Have a lovely glass of juice to drink. Do this at least once this week.

2 - Dance to your favourite music:
For five minutes or however long your music is, dance wildly in your kitchen. Do this every day for a week. It's a guaranteed energy boost.

Friday, 21 October 2016

Week 1 - a home practice

This past week I asked the yoga students what prevents them from doing yoga at home.
Here are the answers:

I don't remember to do it
I think I will do it tomorrow
I'm too tired - I just don't have the energy
I don't have enough room - no space - or space isn't clean enough
I haven't made it a habit - no routine in place
I'm too distracted with other things to do
I'm too distracted in my mind to focus
My dog is in the way
My boyfriend is in the way
My time isn't my own
I get easily sidetracked
I'm lazy
I don't have the time
I'm too anxious
I need someone to tell me what to do
No one encourages me to do it
I'm not in enough discomfort
I'm in too much pain
I have lots of things I want to do - yoga isn't on top of list
I don't know what to do

This list makes me feel tired. No wonder the mat doesn't come out.
Look. All these are excuses. Sounds harsh, I know.
At one time or another I've used all of these excuses. Just chuck 'em!

I have mostly women students and I have watched us all put others ahead of ourselves. Everyone gets our attention except ourselves. This is what we've been taught. Either someone told us or we learned from watching how the society works around us. We all want to be good. But you know, I think deep down we all want to be happy first. How can we help or take care of anyone else if we aren't at ease with ourselves? If we aren't happy? If we aren't healthy? If we aren't whole and thriving?

Take some time and answer this question:
Why would you want to do a personal home practice of yoga?
You won't be motivated if it's a vague "should". The motivation has to come from you. Only personal reasons can sustain your practice.
My motivation is feeling light, joyful, free after doing yoga and meditation. I feel GOOD! And I generally get more done during the day because I put myself first.
The best thing you can do for your relationships, your work, your life, is to put yourself first. First. Me first. Say it - I put myself first.

Find a place in your home. I live in an almost real tiny home. It's just over 600 sq. feet. I live with a man and a dog. I looked around and I have room for a yoga mat in 4 places. In the living room, in the kitchen, in the hallway, and in front of the washer and dryer. They are not ideal but that's what I've got. The hallway is great because I can't see the dishes or other stuff to put away. So what if my man and dog have to jump over me to go past. I let them. I keep my eyes closed and relax into my space. My space is really inside me. It's like coming home. I carry my home with me - always.

No time? We all have 24 hours in a day. Make time for you and it will seem like you actually have more time in the day. Even if you have to get up 15 minutes earlier every day. It's so worth it.

Anxiety, distraction? This will fall away in time and sooner than your think.

Don't know what to do? I can help. Some previous blogs have short routines and I will have more.

And I will encourage you to do it. Right now. Take 3 deep and gentle breaths. And come home to yourself. You are worth it!

Nothing is worth more than being yourself. We are all here to be free. This is our birthright.

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Vision Practice

Vision Practice (slightly adapted) from Jacob Liberman's book Take off Your Glasses and See

Take off your glasses if you wear them. Be comfortable.
Bring your attention inward. Allow your attention to wander if it wanders. Notice what you notice.
Allow your breathing to become soft and gentle. Gently close your eyes.

Bring your attention to your eye sockets and notice any feelings of 'holding on' or 'grabbing' there. Don't try to make it better, just spend a few moments feeling that tension. Imagine that you are breathing in and out through your eyes. As you breathe, allow a feeling of softness and gentleness to gradually seep into your eye sockets. Notice how the grabbing begins to shift by itself.

When you next exhale, very gently and slowly allow your eyes to open. As you open them, don't look at anything, or worry about whether you will see clearly. Allow the room to look at you.
When your eyes are open, start to inhale and allow them to effortlessly close again. There's no need to squint: keep your eye muscles very soft and easy the whole time. Continue to gently open and close your eyes along with your breath.

Now notice a kind of movement or wobble that seems to occur just as your eyes are opening. Become fascinated by this movement. Notice how things are different at this moment. Notice how the room may be shifting or moving as you open your eyes. Notice how vision is different in that instant that you open them compare to the stability that comes. Continue for a few minutes.

Practice daily. Remember not to strain.

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Last recipe source

The red Thai curry came from this book. 

Red Thai with Fall Vegetables

This is sooooo easy!
 Make some rice with this or eat as a stew.

Red Thai with Fall Vegetables

2 cans unsweetened coconut milk (each 14 oz)
1 tbsp red curry paste
1 tbsp turmeric
1 tbsp mild paprika
2 large sweet potato peeled and cut into 1" cubes
4 medium size onions, peeled & quartered
1/2 head cauliflower cut into 1" florets
salt, to taste
3 green onions chopped
thai hot sauce or tabasco sauce, for serving (optional)

1. Shake 1 cup of the coconut milk vigorously, open it, and pour 1 cup of the coconut milk into a large saucepan. Stir over medium heat until it has thickened slightly, 3 minutes.

2. Gradually add the red curry paste, turmeric, and paprika, stirring continuously with a spatula or whisk. Reduce the heat and summer, stirring for 3 minutes.

3. Shake the remaining can of coconut milk, open it, and stir in the sweet potatoes and the onions. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently for 15 minutes.

4. Add the cauliflower and cook until all the vegetables are tender and the sauce has thickened, 15 minutes. Season with salt. Sprinkle the green onions over top.

Use any vegetable combo you like. And it's better with the whole coconut milk but you can use light milk but sauce won't be as thick and flavourful.

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Wisdom from Alice

Be curious. 

Take naps.

Go ahead - have a coffee once in a while.

Be cute. Get as many kisses and hugs as you can.

Get a grip.

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Tarini's Carrot Lemon Ginger Soup

Tarini's Carrot Lemon Ginger Soup

1/4 cup butter
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 tbsp ginger grated
1 1/2 tbsp chopped garlic

1 1/4 lb (3 cups) chopped carrots
2 tomatoes (peeled and chopped)
1 1/2 tsp grated lemon zest
3 cups stock
2 tbsp lemon juice

Melt butter in large pot and saute onions, garlic, ginger until softened. Add carrots, tomatoes, stock, and zest. Bring to a boil. Simmer until carrots are very soft. Use hand blender to puree until smooth.
Add lemon juice and add salt and pepper to taste.
Delicious topped with sour cream.


Monday, 1 August 2016

A little yoga routine

Just sit down and relax. Feel the love in your heart for all things.

Join the soles of your feet together. Breathe deeply.

Stretch your legs out wide. Lean forward if you can, still keeping back straight.

Child's pose.

Downward dog. Yahoo!!


Happy baby pose.

Seated twist. Be gentle :)

Shake your belly into laughter.

Lie down and breathe. Be still. Draw your eyes inward and down
away from your eyelids.

May this day be the very best day of your life!

Mati's Curried Citrus Quinoa

Mati's Curried Citrus Quinoa

1 cup quinoa
1 cup veggie broth (low sodium)
1 cup water

1/4 cup fresh orange juice
2 tbsps fresh lemon juice
2 tbsps olive oil
1 tsp dijon mustard
2 tsps honey
1 tbsp curry powder
2 tbsps minced red onion
1/2 cup raisins
sea salt to taste
1/2 cup toasted sliced almonds

Bring quinoa, veggie broth and water to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered until quinoa is tender. About 15 to 20 minutes.

While the quinoa is cooking, prepare the dressing by whisking together the juices, olive oil, mustard, honey, and curry powder in a large bowl.

Stir in the cooked quinoa, red onion and raisins. Season to taste with salt.

Refrigerate until cold. Stir in half toasted almonds just before serving and sprinkle the rest on top.

I had this warm too and I loved it.

Thursday, 28 July 2016

Paleo Granola

This is a super good granola for everyone not just those of us who don't eat gluten :)

Paleo Granola

2 cups blanched, sliced almonds
1 cup pecans
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup freshly ground flax seeds
3/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1/2 cup honey
6 tbsps coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 275 F.
Combine all the nuts and seeds and the coconut in a large bowl.
Over low heat, combine honey and coconut oil until heated through. Stir in vanilla and spices until smooth.
Pour over the nut/seed mixture and mix well.
Spread into a big baking pan or baking sheet.
Bake for about 45 to 50 minutes or until golden brown, stirring every 15 minutes or less to keep edges from burning and to cook evenly. Watch carefully.
Remove from oven and let cool. And then add cranberries (or other dried fruit)


Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Summer stretching

Hey everybody!
It's summertime and the stretching is easy. Just lie down on your favourite blanket. Yawn and stretch!

Friday, 8 July 2016

My favourite girl.

Road trip east ends and we head home today. 
Granmummy and Alice, 3 months. 
Last flat white in Montreal. 

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Lay me down yoga routine

Sometimes you just don't want to get up :)
Here is a little routine for those lazy mornings (or evenings)

Just lie on your back and stretch and yawn (yawn super big) 

Bend knees. Bring feet and legs mat distance apart. Gently lower knees toward one side, then the other, with a slow rhythym - tick tock. Do those for many minutes. It feels great!

Happy baby pose. Bend knees and take ahold of your feet. Rest here for a while breathing into your back.

One leg on floor, lift and lower the other leg slowly up and down. Repeat on other side.

Bridge pose.

Through the hole stretch. One ankle on opposite knee.

Goddess pose. On back, knees out to sides.

Stretch and yawn again. Yawn even bigger.
Relax. Relax. Relax.

May you feel soft!

Saturday, 25 June 2016

Spinach Quiche with Buckwheat Crust

Spinach Quiche with Buckwheat Crust

This is an easy quiche! I made mine with mushrooms too.

3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups heavy cream (whipping cream)
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp fresh thyme or 1/4 tsp dried thyme
ground black pepper
2 tbsp butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup buckwheat groats
4 cups spinach, chopped
1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Combine the eggs, cream, nutmeg, and thyme in a bowl. Set aside.

Using your fingers, smear 1 tbsp of the butter over the bottom and sides of a 9 inch pie plate. Pour the buckwheat groats into the pie plate and tilt to coat the sides and the bottom. Shake the loose groats over the bottom.

Melt the remaining 1 tbsp butter in a pan. Add spinach and saute until it has wilted. I put mushrooms in my quiche and I fried them up first and then added the spinach.

Gently distribute the spinach over the bottom of the pie plate without disturbing the buckwheat. 
Sprinkle half the cheddar cheese over top.

Beat the egg mixture throughly. Carefully pour the mixture into the pie plate, and top it with the rest of the cheese.

Bake until the center is firm and the top is rounded and golden brown, about 45 to 50 minutes. The quiche is done when a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

This recipe is from a lovely gardening/cooking book:
The Four Season Farm Gardener's Cookbook: From the Garden to the Table in 120 recipes
by Barbara Damrosch and Eliot Coleman.

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Plastic bags

Did you know that in Rwanda you can get a $150 fine for walking down the street swinging a plastic bag? It's true. Plastic bags are illegal in Rwanda. They were cluttering the roads and hanging in bushes and they put a stop to it.
"Shop owners foolish enough to stock plastic bags face jail time. In Rwanda, it's paper or cloth only with polythene bags confiscated at the airport with a seriousness usually reserved for baggies filled with weed. There. Problem solved."
I learned this and many more very interesting things in a book by Will Ferguson called Road Trip Rwanda. And we think we in North America are so much better at everything?

I am attempting to ban plastic bags at home.......they just keep on coming......I don't know what to do about picking up dog poo........

Monday, 23 May 2016


I've been in the garden all weekend. On Friday I was rushing. Frantic about about getting the raspberries cut. Frantic about all the creeping Charlie. Creeping all over everything and everywhere. Maybe I should just dig clumps of Charlie and pot them for hanging baskets! Charlie is good looking if it wasn't a weed. :)

By late Friday I fell to my knees in the dirt. My back relaxed. My shoulders relaxed. Gardening became fun so close to the earth. I couldn't understand why I was in such a hurry. I started to pull each fine root out of the soil. Just because. The slower I go the more gardening iget to do. It's never done anyway. 

How I do one thing is how I do everything. (This is true for you too.)
I have a tendency to do too many things at once. I'm looking ahead at the next thing to accomplish. Ah! It's stressful! So, I slowed down and got closer to the task at hand. I heard from my teacher that I can change how I do everything by changing just one thing and doing it how I want to be doing everything. I worked in my garden with care and attention. One square foot at a time. (Well, almost). 

Funny thing is - I ca tell other people to take care and attention and nod my head that this is the right and peaceful way - but rarely do it for myself. But now I have! I feel great!