CHARITY PANCAKE BREAKFAST (Austin, Texas)

CHARITY PANCAKE BREAKFAST – Feb 5

WHAT:         Austin SERTOMA Club’s 6th Annual Pancake Breakfast

Proceeds benefit the Austin SERTOMA Club’s sponsorship programs for Texas’ deaf and        hard of hearing community.

WHEN:         Saturday, February 5, 2011 – 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM

WHERE:         Texas School for the Deaf (TSD) cafeteria

1102 South Congress Avenue, Austin Texas 78704

(use Elizabeth Street entrance)

SERVING:      All-U-CAN-EAT Pancakes, Bacon, Eggs, Coffee, Juice, and all the trimmings

Tickets:          $5 advance

$6 at the door

Children 6 & under – FREE

Door Prizes & Live Music by “Last Train Out”

Sponsored by: I-HOP, Dominican Joe & Guero’s Taco Bar

CONTACT:        Jim Hull

Keena Miller ; ,

or visit: www.austinsertoma.org.

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In the Beginning

Thanks to all who have stopped by and/or left comments as the Wasa blog gets underway.

A couple people mentioned that this blog has inspired them to try yoga. I know the feeling. My husband inspired me to try yoga years ago after I watched him ease into a backbend with grace. I’ve mentioned that before, but what I failed to mention was the fact that I didn’t like my first yoga class. Or my second. Or third;

I knew the benefits of yoga – flexibility, awareness, inner stillness – were practices I needed in my life, but during class I couldn’t hold the poses. It takes time to find balance and build strength. Also, the teacher wasn’t a good fit. Plus, I kept slipping on my mat because I was wearing socks. Not to mention my loose-fitting t-shirt flipped over my head when I’d bend over for Downward Facing Dog.

So my first suggestion is to wear comfortable “stretchy” clothes. Slip off your shoes (and socks) before entering the studio. Bare feet help you “stick” to the mat. If you don’t have a mat, you can rent one. Sometimes they’re free, sometimes $1.

Okay, now you’re in the studio before class has begun. Believe it or not this can be the most intimidating part.

A few years ago I remember encouraging a friend to try a yoga class. We were traveling in San Francisco and the class was at 6am. I couldn’t attend because of another obligation (um, I believe it was sleep), but my friend was a super early riser and decided to try yoga for the first time. Ten minutes later she clamored back into the room complaining that when she walked in the studio all the students were gathering foam blocks, long white straps, and bolsters, and she had no idea what these were, if she needed any, and, if so, which ones she should take.¼br />

Oh gosh, I felt awful for sleeping in. I had completely forgotten how many times I’ve felt that exact same way when I’ve tried something new. Like the first time I tried a spinning class. I was standing in the cool dark studio when a group of women walked in all holding biking shoes (biking shoes? Oops! I didn’t have those). Then they began turning knobs, lowering the seats, and adjusting the handlebars. I was outta there in 30 seconds (I went back the next day – it turns out you don’t need biking shoes and the instructor showed me how to adjust the parts – but still).

Even just a few weeks ago I tried a new yoga studio and noticed the students folding blankets in a manner I’d never seen before. I’ve been practicing yoga for years and I still felt a bit out of place. I wasn’t sure if I should fold the blanket “my” way or “their” way. That question was answered when the teacher began class and showed everyone what she wanted us to do.

So, a few more suggestions: don’t worry about the blocks, straps, and blankets. They are props to help people (like me) adjust in certain poses. If you need a prop during a pose, the yoga teacher will bring it to you, or you can ask her before class begins. Also, consider brining a friend to your first class if that would make you feel more comfortable (a friend who has practiced before can show you the ropes; if not, you two can navigate the waters together).

Now class has begun . . . and you don’t understand a word the teacher is saying. Chaturanga Dandasana? Urdhva Mukha Svanasana? Virabhadrasana II? The same thing happened to me in a dance class once where the teacher was using terms I’d never heard. The students around me began spinning and hopping and twirling about as I stood there, motionless and a little annoyed (it was a “beginners” class). Finally I gave up and tried to sneak out of the room. A woman came over and touched me on the shoulder, “You just don’t know the lingo yet. You’ll get the hang of it,” she promised.

And I promise – you’ll get the hang of yoga lingo. I do, however, recommend finding an “intro to yoga” course if you’re trying it for the first time. After trying yoga and not liking it, I finally went to this 2-day orientation at Yoga Works. Instead of jumping right into sun salutations, we sat in a circle and talked. The teacher showed us how to breathe, answered our questions, and walked us slowly through the fundamental poses. That’s when yoga began to change to my life.

Garlic Wasa

Ingredients

5 cloves garlic, crushed
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese
8 pieces WASA Multigrain Crispbread (may substitute any WASA Crispbread flavors)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350º
Add all ingredients to a small bowl and mix.
Spread 1 heaping teaspoon onto each crispbread.
Bake 5 to 7 minutes and serve warm.

Prep time: 17 minutes

Serves 8

Nutritional Value Per Serving

Calories 186
Total Fat 11 g
Saturated Fat 1.8 g
Cholesterol 2 mg
Sodium 199 mg
Total Carbohydrate 21 g
Dietary Fiber 4 g
Protein 3 g
Calcium 35 mg

Blue Zones

Blue Zones are places in the world where people live “astoundingly long lives” – for example, reaching the age of 100 three times the rate of Americans. And suffering a fifth the rate of heart disease. Imagine being able to hold your great-great-grandchild one day . . .

I first learned of Blue Zones when one of the editors I work with went on a “Quest” to the Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica, one of the four Blue Zones (the others are Okinawa, Japan, Loma Linda, California, and Sardinia, Italy).

Dan Buettner, a journalist who worked extensively on researching these communities, has come out with a book titled The Blue Zone. I want to read the book in context, so I’m refraining from skipping ahead, but based on the Blue Zones website and other articles I’ve read, I know some of the lifestyle practices of centurions are (1) plant based diets (not necessarily vegetarian, but plant-based); (2) laughter; (3) spirituality; (4) family; and (5) physically active lives (like gardening and laboring).

Just because Washington DC isn’t a Blue Zone doesn’t mean my body and my house can’t be one.

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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