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6:14 pm

Lunch with Live Well Potluck Recipes Chapter 1: Dal (Indian Lentil Stew)

Dal (Indian Lentil Stew) 4-6 servings 2 c. diced onion 2 T. canola oil 1 t. cumin seeds 1 t. turmeric 1 T. garlic-ginger paste (usually found in Indian grocery stores, I found at Winco!) or use 2 smashed garlic cloves and a t. of grated fresh ginger Few shakes red pepper flakes Saute onions in oil until soft and translucent. Add spices and saute a bit to release the aromas. Add: 1 c. red lentils 3 c. water 1/2 t. salt Simmer until lentils are soft, adding more water if necessary to make it the consistency you like. Taste, and if you like it spicier, add a few shakes of cayenne pepper. May also need a bit more salt. Top with chopped cilantro and tomatoes, if you have them. It is also good with some plain yogurt on the side. Serve as a side dish or over rice. Enjoy! By Sarah Edwardsson

5:05 pm

Lunch w Live Well Potluck Recipes Chapter 1: Tempeh "Chick'n" Salad

We had a a delicious potluck lunch at Live Well on Sunday.  And everyone wanted the recipes.  Here's the first submission:
Tempeh “Chick’n” Salad
8oz Soy Tempeh, cubed
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1 cup chopped celery
4 scallions, minced
½ teaspoon celery seed
½ teaspoon sage
½ cup parsley, minced
Salt and Pepper to taste
½ cup (or less) eggless Mayonnaise (I prefer Grape seed Veganaise)
Combine Tempeh, soy sauce, water and vinegar in a covered 1 quart casserole.
Cook in microwave on high for 5 minutes, stirring once.
Remove cover and cool to room temperature
Add remaining ingredients to Tempeh mixture. Stir well and chill.
We generally double this recipe when we take it to events.  We also tend not to measure out the mayonnaise.  We just mix it in till it looks good.  (We generally use approximately ½ cup mayo when making the double batch)
Armand and Irene
Here's Irene in Crow Pose!!

5:11 pm

Prompt for Yoga

Dear Yogini:  When someone comes into class in the middle of meditation I lose my concentration.  What should I do?  ~Prompt Dear Prompt: First, practice karuna, compassion. Practice compassion for yourself and for your fellow student. Our lives are complicated. Sometimes we can arrive on time, and sometimes we can’t. Sometimes we most need yoga on that day when we are running late. Hold your fellow yogi in the best part of your heart and you will be transformed.    Second, practice upeksha, indifference. Upeksha is an advanced meditation: notice when your mind jumps to judgment or criticism and let it go. It does not really matter what the person’s story is, you have much to gain from learning to let go. Practice upeksha when you experience your mind's discomfort and you will be transformed. A few years ago I was teaching a meditation class at one of the churches downtown. Just as we were settling into silence, a city work crew showed up to remove the sidewalks outside of the room we meditated in. It was the most difficult meditation I have ever done, holding space for silence amidst jackhammers destroying concrete. It was also one of the most transformative meditations I have ever done. Practicing stillness and quiet in the midst of intense situations, be it jackhammers or late students, teaches me to practice stillness and quiet when real personal crises or conflict occur in my life. On this path we transform our lives and our world. And one more simple detail, if you arrive early set up your mat in the front of the room, then the late-arrivals will be less disruptive to you and the rest of the class when they fill the space behind you. Thanks for asking Prompt! Namaste, The Live Well Studio teachers and staff

5:08 pm

Tardy for Yoga?

Dear Yogini:  Is it okay to show up late for yoga class?   ~ Tardy Dear Tardy: Yep, it is okay to show up late. And there are some things you can do to make this easier for the teacher, the other students, and yourself.    1. If you know you’re going to be late, try to pre-enroll for class online. The teacher will know to save you a space and may even set a mat out for you. If you didn’t pre-enroll or there is no space set out for you be especially mindful of the following suggestions. 2. If the class is in a quiet centering moment when you arrive, either wait in the lobby or sit at the back of the room until meditation is over. Set out your mat when the class moves into asana (posture practice) or when the teacher invites you to. 3. If the room is very crowded, let the teacher help create space for your mat. Please do not set your mat at an angle to other mats in the room or have it overlap with someone else’s mat. Thanks for asking Tardy!

5:32 pm

Comparison and Separation

I’ve been practicing yoga for more than 2 decades.  My pigeon pose has probably reached its full expression.  There just isn’t much more opening to be found in these old hips.  My Pigeon Pose is a humble Pigeon Pose. I often find myself surrounded by yogis with extraordinarily beautiful Pigeon Poses.  Yogis who can bring their shin perpendicular to their spine and then lie their chest right down on it.  Or yogis who come into full upright Pigeon, bend their back knee and balance perfectly in Mermaid Pose.  Or the few who can reach overhead and hold the foot of their back leg lightly in their hands as they gaze upward into the eyes of the divine.  Can you hear my jealousy? I’ve envied me many a Pigeon.  With no other option on the table, I humbly proceeded to work at Pigeon Pose at my bodies pace.  I practice Pigeon Pose nearly every day not for its beauty, but because my body feels better when I do.  Pigeon Pose feels delicious regardless of what it looks like. The other day, I found myself once again noticing everyone else’s achievements in Pigeon Pose.  I was comparing my Pigeon with other yogi’s Pigeons.  I can tell you exactly who was deeper in their Pigeon than I was.  I can tell you exactly who has tighter hips than I do.  As I was cataloguing all the Pigeon Pose’s in the classroom I had an ‘aha’ moment: the process of comparison was keeping me separated from others.  My internal dialogued, simplified, was: “He’s better than me.”  “She’s tighter than me.” This internal dialogue enhanced my sense of isolation and specialness.  It fed my ego, the good and bad of my ego, and it kept me alone.  This sense of loneliness through comparison is an old familiar feeling. I’ve recently been chanting a simple mantra during my meditation: “not-separate.”  Softening into ‘not-separate’ has changed my perspective on the world. I’m more connected with people.  I smile more easily.  I’m less attached to who I think I am. I am more able to give fully of myself.  I am less afraid to be my true self. Gradually, I find myself letting go of my need to compare myself to others.  I find myself able to practice Mudita, empathic joy. Not just in theory, but really enjoying the accomplishments of others. If I am not separate, then their accomplishment is also my accomplishment. Mudita is a delicious way to expand my experience of life. So when your yoga teacher reminds you not to compare yourself with others, it’s for real and for realization. It’s to help protect you from injuring yourself.  It’s to help you practice Mudita and ‘Not Separate.  As this deepening occurs, the world might just open up and swallow you whole.  You might step right into Krishna’s mouth and experience the glory of all that is.   You might wake up.  

9:27 am

Lessons in Samadhi from a Toddler

Lessons in Samadhi from a Toddler, by Lisa Wells I sit in the garden for my morning meditation. I feed the squirrels and stellar jays a handful of peanuts. I sit quietly under the cedar trees. My only intention is to be a part of this magnificent world. It’s a sweet way to begin each day. I walk to work with the same intention. I walk slowly, listen to the wind,  the birds, and the humans around me. I practice non-separation, moving with the wind of life. I try to experience each moment, whatever it brings along. This morning I walked past a young boy and his father sitting on their front porch.  Dad was having a cigarette. Son was playing happily at first but then decided he wanted to go inside the house. Dad hadn’t finished his cigarette and said no. Son started to fuss, to cry and eventually threw a tantrum. Son’s need to go inside struck me powerfully. He no longer wanted to be separated from whatever was in the house, warmth, food, toys, Mom. I don’t know specifically what it was, but he wanted to return to comfort. He no longer wanted to be separated from his source. None of us want to be separated from the source. Each of us has a deep primordial wound and a deep longing for reconnection. The process of separation begins at birth, perhaps at conception. We are birthed into being individual physical beings and slowly we evolve into individual emotional beings. The process of growing up and having an ego is a process of separation. The process leaves us wounded and longing. We are like Son at the doorstep crying and fussing for connection. We seek connection through lovers, friends, and family. Some of us resort to drugs, alcohol, food or other addictions that give us a temporary satiation, but leave us feeling more deeply alone after we indulge. Life seems a continual struggle to satisfy this desire for deep connection. Samadhi is unity. It is the experience of non-separation, of connection. It’s the real deal, not the temporary one. It is the moment we realize that we are not alone. All of this is me. I am one with the birds, the squirrels, and Son throwing his tantrum. The yogis call the awakening Samadhi. Samadhi is accessible to each of us. The path is not easy and it cannot be accessed prematurely. We must ache. We must feel the wound at our core. We must realize that all of our longings are one longing: the longing for non-separation. Sit still somewhere that is pleasant to you. Be very comfortable. Breath deeply and easily. Turn your mind to experiencing this moment as if you were not separate from what surrounds you. You are the bird, the squirrel, the son, the mother, the father, the sun and the moon, the murderer, the judge. You are all that is. You are literally stardust. And you will be stardust again.