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A Meditation Walk

“Let’s take a meditation walk,” my mom suggested when she was visiting earlier this week.

That sounded neat.

“What is it?” I asked.

My mom said it’s when you take a walk in nature while meditating on a word or phrase. As you walk you don’t necessarily seek out specific things, but you do open yourself up to whatever gifts or lessons nature has to teach.

My mom, dad, and I all piled on our coats and boots and headed out into the woods. When we passed the woodshed, we discussed logs. When we passed the garden, we discussed vegetables. We talked about family and food and the gorgeous day. Before long we had finished the loop. Not exactly meditative. Oh, well. We still enjoyed each other’s company and the crisp air of nightfall. That’s priceless in itself.

Meditation walks are probably best when each individual wanders off on his or her own path. This morning I threw on sweatpants and headed outside. I was still wearing my pajama top. I had yet to comb my hair or eat. But I wanted to be outdoors first thing.

I choose to meditate on the words: “I will rejoice and be glad in this day.” The wind brushed against me with affection. The pines played a rustling tune. The sky offered colors of deep blue. The sun poured forth armfuls of warmth. I don’t know what this day will bring, but good or bad, happy or sad, easy or tough, I rejoice in its beauty.Š

Yoga Facial

I slouch too much.

At times – pecking away on my laptop, eating a meal, relaxing on the couch – I’ll catch myself and try to fix it.

Lately, I’ve noticed another habit I’ve developed over the years: frowning. Well, maybe not frowning exactly, but holding a tense face.

Opening the yoga practice, I am sitting with my legs crossed mid-shin. The teacher tells the class to close our eyes and place the back of our hands on our knees with our palms facing the ceiling. Then she tells us to relax our face.

“Relax your jaw,” she says.

“Relax the muscles around your eyes,” she continues.

“Relax the space between your brows . . . your eyelids . . . and even the skin underneath the eyelids.”

She tells the class that relaxing the face is one way to help quiet the brain.

As we continue the practice – sun salutations, standing poses, and core exercises – she gently reminds us about the muscles in our face. And every time it feels amazingly nice to relax them.Š

Internet Yoga

Yoga has gone high tech.

In the last few weeks I’ve come across three different websites offering “online” yoga classes.

Core Power Yoga (click “yoga on demand”)

Yoga Today (offering “outdoor” yoga classes)

&

Jiva Diva (scroll down to “live classes”)

All three sites give free classes or trial runs. I’m seriously considering trying one out because I’m about to head to Colorado for a mountain retreat for two weeks. The last time I was on retreat I found a gem of a yoga teacher who gave 90 minute private lessons out of her home for $25 (talk about a deal!). But she’s now home-schooling her kids and doesn’t have time for another student (me).

So…I’m thinking of logging on to my computer for Downward-Facing Dog time. But after debating which site to try, I actually decided that instead of Internet classes, I am going to take this time to better develop my own home practice. Tune-in next week to see if I can recall the sequence for Sun Salutations and figure out how to move into Trikonasana (Triangle Pose) without my yoga teacher prodding me to firm my thighs. I’m looking forward to rolling out my mat by my bedside and trusting myself and my practice (okay, I might bring a book of poses for a little cheat sheet, but mostly I’ll be on my own).Š

Wasa with Cottage Cheese, Strawberries and Blood Orange

Ingredients

4 ounces low fat cottage cheese
1 cup (6 ounces) fresh strawberries, chopped
½ teaspoon blood orange zest
1 teaspoon juice from a blood orange
2 teaspoons honey
4 pieces WASA Sourdough Rye Crispbread (May substitute WASA Multigrain, Hearty Rye, Sourdough Rye, or Oats Crispbread)

Directions

Mix together strawberries, ¼ teaspoon zest, blood orange juice, and honey in a small bowl.
Spread cottage cheese on cracker, top with mixture, and sprinkle with remaining zest.

TIP: May substitute any berries, peaches, apricots, or pineapple for strawberries. You can also substitute a regular orange for a blood orange.
Refrigerate leftovers for 3-4 days.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Serves 1

Nutritional Value Per Serving

 

Calories 322
Total Fat 2 g
Saturated Fat 0.8 g
Cholesterol 5 mg
Sodium 641 g
Total Carbohydrate 65 g
Dietary Fiber 12 g
Protein 19 g
Calcium 100 mg

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