Category Archives: Western NY

Message from ZVRS

Toes

Lately, I’ve been giving them a lot of thought.

First, my yoga teacher is always including toes in her instructions. Lift them off the ground (one at a time). Spread them. Plant them back on your mat (one at a time). It takes awhile to learn to control them – they’re so often ignored. Second, I was reading a book about a woman who had a stroke and was paralyzed on her left side, including all her toes. She was explaining the rehabilitation process and talking about the fact that she realized – once she could no longer use them – how important toes are for balance and for pushing off of when walking. Third, I just so happened to be reading the book passage while I was getting a pedicure (a gift from my husband).

So toes were on my mind.

For most of my life I didn’t pay attention to them. And when I got older I would shove them into cold, hard pointy shoes. In turn, that led to foot cramps. The cramps would attack in the middle of the night and hurt so bad I’d cry. But when I started practicing yoga, I noticed my foot cramps disappeared. I decided to give my feet the love they deserved. In addition to yoga, I began wearing comfortable shoes. And from time to time, I’d get a pedicure. I stopped painting my nails awhile ago (to avoid the harsh chemicals), but today I made a special exception.

I picked a color – Dutch Tulips – in honor of spring.

When they were red and shiny, I wiggled them and smiled. Thankful for my toes.

Lazy Bones

During yoga class the teacher, Tina, tells me to lift up a bit. I’m squatting in a pose (it’s sort of this made up pose that I’ve dubbed the Tinasana) and Tina says my middle is sagging.

“The muscles in your body will automatically revert to being lazy if given the chance,” she says.

Lazy? But I’m working so hard, I think.

Later, in Warrior II I’m concentrating on my arms when Tina reminds me to firm my thighs. If I don’t pay attention, they become lazy.

Yet another pose and my feet are splaying instead of pointing in the right direction. Guess why?

Really. Out of all the things in the world, I don’t consider myself lazy. But apparently even when I’m truly working on my alignment there are parts of my body that are secretly trying to get away with as little as possible.

After class I start thinking . . . does that apply to other areas of my life?

No way. I’m motivated! Diligent!Relentless in my pursuits!

Aren’t I?

Except in the mornings. I like to linger in bed. It’s warm and cozy. Plus I’m still sleepy. By the time I do get up, shower, and eat breakfast, I’m always surprised at how much of the day has gotten away from me before I make it to my home office.

And walking. I love my afternoon walks. Love them. Then why do I skip them from time to time, opting instead to sit and work a little longer?

Speaking of work, I realized something as I began investigating this whole laziness issue. If I have ten things on my “To Do” list, I tend to opt for the easiest projects first. When I do start working on a hard topic (say an article that requires a lot of research or possibly a personal essay that forces me to do some inner work), I will drop it as soon as I feel stuck. I tell myself I’ll get back to it and turn my attention to the easier assignments again.

Isn’t it funny the insights yoga gives us into our lives? So if you’ll excuse me, I have an article I’ve put off. I’d better get working on it.

Not Quite Tuna

Tonight for dinner I made tuna salad…without tuna…or mayo.

How, you might ask, did I make such meal?

With vegetables and seasoning.

I’m trying to incorporate as many veggies into my diet as I can, so I’m always on the lookout for new recipes. One of the most interesting I’ve seen so far is “Better than Tuna” from this book. First, I whipped out my food processor. Then I discovered my food processor was broken, so I whipped out a knife and cutting board. I finely chopped three big carrots, two celery stalks, a quarter of an onion, half a red pepper, and a tomato. I drained the tomato and threw all the veggies in a bowl.

For the seasoning I mixed in one-half teaspoon Celtic sea salt, one Tablespoon parsley, one-half teaspoon kelp, and three Tablespoons of Vegenaise.

Looking at the concoction, I wasn’t sure what to think. It looked pretty appetizing, but there was only one way to find out for sure. I served the “tuna” in a toasted whole wheat hamburger bun. I also set out a platter of blue corn tortillas with hummus (I cut the tortillas into “chips” and baked them in the oven first). To drink? Fresh vegetable juice.

Numma, numma, numma. It was delicious. I highly recommend it (hopefully your food processor is working though because all that chopping was labor intensive). I’m so excited for lunch tomorrow to eat the leftovers.Š

A Place to Start

I have yoga homework.

My teacher wants me to practice Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle pose) every single day. Then she wants me to lean back into Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclining Bound Angle pose).

It’s supposed to help me relax.

The good news about Bound Angle pose is and Reclining Bound Angle pose is that I can do them anywhere – watching TV, before bed at night, as an afternoon break in my home office.

I told her how I’ve tried to establish a home practice in the past before and wound up intimidated and overwhelmed.

“Sometimes just showing up on your mat at home and pretending to practice is a practice,” she said.

Sounds like a good place to start.

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