Equinox: a time to balance

The 23rd Sept is equal day and night hours, it is the equinox. A time to reflect on how we can bring balance to our lives.

Our yoga class gives us the opportunity to observe with total attention. This is something to aim for in all of life’s activities, however, in our yoga practice we can train for such concentration. You may have heard it referred to as ‘Mindfulness’, a concept from Buddism, embraced by western psychology, and gone totally mainstream.

At the Equinox you may become aware that you are more energetic or aware of the need to stop and smell the new blooms. A strong sense of what is needed for this balance maybe available if you listen.

Instead of making a judgement when observing your body or mind-heart or life force,  trying to discover why or how any imbalance has occurred, make a resolution to simply take action.

If possible try this yoga posture now. Eg Tadasana, Mountain pose: Stand with your feet under your hips, lift the toes and spread them, place them down. Bring your attention to the big toe ball, the little toe ball and the heel, the sides, inside and outside of the feet. Observe the other muscles that may support the function of the feet. Resolve to stand evenly on your feet and sway back, forward, side to side and activate muscles that ensure you feel the three arches of the feet.

Eg2 If your mind is distracted gently focus on the architecture of your body and your proprioception, where your body is in space. Your spinal alignment. Where your centre is. Weight evenly diatributed. Follow your breath, relax and use your dristi, your gentle gaze, to focus on the task at hand.


LISTEN BELOW FOR THIS GUIDED BREATHING AND VISUALISATION FOR BALANCE

Analoma Viloma

Balance Meditation

Bring attention to the spaces around you and release from the sensual experiences.

Three deep sighs and release attention from the breath and move to the body.

Alternate attention at each side of the body (from the extremities inward guided relaxation).

Rest at the heart centre, just observe the energy at the centre of the chest.

Release attention from the body and move to the place of thought, imagination &memory.

Come to present moment awareness.

Imagine you are perfectly still , balanced and serene floating in lake with a sand bottom, the sky reflecting a turquoise hue, …………… enveloped in the colour, light, buoyant and refreshed.

Allow your focus to move to any imbalance you have observed in your body, mind-heart or energy.

If and when you make such and observation, do not chase thoughts of explanation, although euphonies and realisations may spontaneously occur. Just observe without criticism, without judgement, perhaps being a little light-hearted about “Oh look how I do that?” being curious, “That’s interesting how I respond that way”.

From here you may like to enquire into how to allow balance to arise in your body, mind-heart, energy. “how can I take action to redress the imbalance??”

Once again do not chase an answer. It may come now, it may come later when you awareness returns to the place of asymmetry or imbalance in everyday life.

Trust that you have all the tools to know what action to take within you.

Just resolve now to take action when it is clear what action will be helpful.

Release and traces of this observation and enquiry into serene blue of that lake that surrounds you.

Rest now in silence.

1 min Light Meditation

Silent, light visualisation.

Imagine light being as a pinpoint behind your sternum, in the centre of your chest and see it grow until it radiates beyond your extremities into the world around you, try it walking in the street.

  

You are the Sky, a practice to reveal the peace that already resides within you.

Practice being the sky. Look up, breath in. 

Using the process of sense withdrawal, known as pratyahara, one of the limbs in the 8 limbs Yoga. 

Use this script to help develop a witness consciousness, an empowering practice to help us understand our true nature.

Be comfortable and breath slowly particularly on exhalation. an extended exhalation creates the relaxation response in the body. Notice all your senses as they take in the information, furthest sounds, the temperature, the textures of your clothes, scent in the room, close your eyes softly and withdraw from them and notice sensation in the body. Bring attention to any tingling, pain, comfort and any other sensation in the body. Move your attention away from this sensation to watch the breath move in and out of the body, in through the nose and out through the nose, relaxed one, natural, move away from attention from the breath knowing if discomfort or distraction does arise you can slow the breath by focus on a long exhalation. Notice your thought, watch it pass like clouds across the vast expanse of sky, allow thought without getting caught up, be kind to yourself should you find yourself attached, perhaps use a breath to let the thought pass. Rest now in silence and pure consciousness for 10-30mins.

Namaste

Liz

  

All your Veg Asian Slaw with Cashews and Crunchy Noodles

 

 
The most delicious way to get your veg is to make a dressing that is hot, salty, sweet and sour. Fresh lime, chilli and ginger are the champs in this salad: chop it all up and stir it through the salad veg and voila! It tastes like a cross between a Thai and Vietnamese salad.

Clean out the crisper with this one. You can use any crunchy veg sliced up fine in any combination. Make up a huge container it stays crunchy for days without the dressing. You will look forward to your lunch everyday.

I used the leftovers of this salad to make a delicious kimchi-like wild ferment mmmm

Inspired by the recipe on the back of the noodle packet, this version is punked right up with big flavours. Enjoy making your own versions with whatever you have on hand. The most important part is to get the balance to your liking in the dressing which depend on the sweetness in your lime and the heat in your chilli, so taste it before you dress it.

lovely on its own or even better with some tofu marinated in soy, fivespice powder and seasame oil.

Salmon grilled, sliced steak, prawns or chicken also make this into a wonderful meal. Even a can of tuna, for a work lunch, is a good match.

Ingredients

Fried Noodles, handful

Cashews, dry roasted in a warm pan for a few minutes

Zest of two limes

1/4- 1/2 wombok, chinese cabbage or any cabbage, finely sliced

10 cavalo nero, black cabbage, stripped from the stem, very finely sliced

1 red capsicum/pepper finely sliced

1 green capsicum/pepper finely sliced

1-2 cucumbers cut into strips

1-2 carrots sliced with a vegetable peeler nd cut on diagonal

1 cup coriander or vietnamese mint or lemon basil or combo, roughly chopped

optional red chilli finely sliced

Dressing

1 tespoon seasame oil

2cm knob of fresh ginger, if you keep your ginger in the freezer its easier to grate

1 clove of garlic finely grated

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1-2 tablespoons sweet chilli sauce or fresh chilli & 1-3 teaspoons sugar

optional fish sauce

2 limes squeezed, plus lime wedges to serve

Method

  1. Mix all the veg and lime zest together and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  2. Put all dressing ingredients in a jar and shake, taste and adjust to your liking so the flavours are balanced.
  3. When your ready to serve assemble all ingedients in a bowl reserving some nuts and noodles for the top, mix thouroughly and taste and adjust for balance.
  4. Serve with lime wedges, nuts, noodles and any additional protein of your choice. MIX!

There you go Yogis! This is one of our recipes from Monday Munchies, a little sharing of food love after class, this one was requested by Julia. Love my yoga friends.

namaste 

Liz


AFFIRMATION: I AM LOVE

  

In yoga we are fond of setting an intention for our practice and manifesting our desires. In Sanskrit it is known as sankalpa. Living a life of passion, from the heart brings contentment, satisfaction and peace into our personal life. This then ripples out into our environment and the world.

When completing the affirmation, or any sankalpa bringing the feelings associated with our desire is what gives it power. We make our desires manifest when we act as if has already happened! 

You can do this by bringing up a memory of feeling completely loved, or giving unconditional love. Then drop the association with that place or person that helped you experience love and just experience the LOVE. 

Namaste 

Liz 

Cream Of Tomato and Fennel Soup ( or Sauce )

Tomato Fennel Prawn

This recipe makes a delightful soup or pasta sauce.The addition of prawns makes a delicious meal of it. Cook the sauce now and freeze it for winter to get a hit of summer sweetness when you are all rugged up.

Old Mill Road Bio-Farm Ox-hearts

Check out the size of these locally grown tomatoes, the sweetest you can get. If your tomatoes aren’t sweet a teaspoon of sugar in your pot will fix them up.

Ingredients

1 1/2 kgs Peeled Tomatoes chopped or canned

I fennel bulb sliced

4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

small brown onion or whites of 4 shallots/scallions

10 saffron strands in 1/2 cup warm water

glass white wine

2 -3 Tablespoons Cream

Olive Oil

salt (chilli salt optional)

Fry off Fennel, Onion and garlic, then add wine.
Fry off Fennel, Onion and garlic, then add wine.

Method

1. Sweat onion, fennel and garlic in a little olive oil.

2. Add wine and simmer for 5mins.

3. Add Tomatoes, saffron water and salt. Simmer for 10-15 mins depending on how watery your tomatoes are. Wait till    sauce/soup thickens a little.

4. Remove from heat and ver carefully ladle into blender/food processor, wizz till smooth. Cream can be added now if serving as a tomato soup.

5. Or fry off 250g shelled raw prawns with a little more garlic, until they just change colour. Add tomato mixture and simmer for two minutes. Add cream and stir.

6. Serve as soup or over pasta. Garnish with the inner leaves of the fennel stalk.

Namaste Liz