Sunie Yoga

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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Slow Down and Breathe



It is August and for those of you that don't know, August to a local Cape Codder tends to be absolutely out of hand crazy busy.  We call this Augustitis (but it's not lazy, it's crazy).  I will admit, I had Augustitis a little early this year, around the last week in July, and I was ready for the busy part of the summer to be over.  If you put yourself in my position, you'll have a better idea...

Imagine you're walking, no stumbling, through Times Square for your first time ever.  There are a million people in just a few blocks that are often oversized and looking up not foward.  They stop when they see what they want and they go when they're unsure this is the right spot.  It is summer, the weather is hot and beautiful.  Everyone is headed to the same place -- food then Broadway (that would be our beaches).  They don't stop until they get their fill.  We are in gridlock, there is no way out as their are rivers running along both sides of the island.  The only difference?  We live on Cape Cod and the tourists are driving (scary!).  Times Square is the entire Cape and we're a little peninsula turned island that has no way out other than 2 tiny bridges.
The accidents have been extreme, the amount of times I've been sitting in my car in fully stopped traffic has been countless (I work 35 miles from my home) and the lines seem endless.  Everyone is sunburned, dazed and a little bit dehydrated.  People don't make much sense.  All they want to do is hurry up and relax.  How does that work, I find myself often wondering?

Actually, I'm having a delightful time!

You ask, how do I keep my sanity through all of this hurrying?  I breathe long and full. I accept wherever I am and do my best to reconnect with my body.  I listen.  Somehow, somewhere recently I learned to accept my present situation and appreciate it for what it is.  I got myself there.  I can change it if I want to.



Remember, you are in control of your life.  You choose to respond the way you do.  You think the thoughts that go through your head.  Don't like it?  Change it.  Want to get a good start: slow down and breathe.  Evaluate your life on a daily basis.  Check in with your body and your mind.  Are you experiencing enough joy to stay with you present situation?  Are you able to take the time to sit back and enjoy your life?

I am so graetful for my life, for how I live and I know it has everything to do with my breath.

Thank you, Yoga.
Namaste.


Breathe. Nourish. Move. Heal.
SunieYoga

Monday, August 18, 2014

The Human Capacity to Experience Joy

We are the luckiest creatures on the planet.  Somewhere along human evolution, we were given the greatest gift: the experience of joy.  I believe your joy, happiness, bliss, pleasure, whatever you may call it, is the ultimate reason you live.  If life is just a constant struggle full of unhappiness and negativity, why bother?  Certainly humans go through bouts of struggle and sadness, but the pendulum will swing back again.  Seek the brighter side in life; it is there for you.

To attain pure joy, I believe humans must remove the ego, live in the present moment and define their values and dreams.  Humans must learn how to balance their lives, to decrease the swing of the pendulum, bringing the self into a more stable and trusting environment. And, most importantly, humans need one another.  Humans need to be in the presence of people that they love and people that love them on a regular basis.  As I gather the wisdom of living, I realize how vital this is in order to attain the ultimate objective: joy.

Living with a loving partner or your child, living near family or within a strongly bonded community will give you a sense of being home, a sense of peace, a sense of comfort, and, in short, a true experience of joy.  Open yourself to as many people as you can that give you love and support and you can love and support in return.

In the end of living, everything else fades, but your bliss will never leave you.  Pure joy creates the soul.
"Joy," Karl Jensen

"Moksha is a final release from one's worldly conception of self, the loosening of the shackle of experiential duality and a realization of one's own fundamental nature which is true being, pure consciousness and bliss, an experience which is ineffable and beyond sensation."

"If you build it, they will come."

Friday, June 13, 2014

Pizza Dough Recipe for Healthy Living

For those you who don't know, I'm a FOODIE! ;) Here is a recipe with a few tips along the way I LOVE to make during the summer season. Prepare ahead of time to WOW your guests and loved ones.

American’s eat so many bready items and so much of it is made up of white flour.  April is a wonderful time to recommit to your values.  Affirm your love for your body by feeding yourself whole foods.  Not only is it heartier, tastier and more filling, it is warming, healthier and most true to natures natural state.  If you must eat flour products, eat whole grain.

One of America’s favorite foods is pizza.  But it could be a whole lot healthier than it tends to be.  Insist your local pizza joint start making pizza dough out of whole wheat flour, or, better yet, make your own.    Making pizza dough can be therapeutic; it takes patience, warmth and stillness.  You have the creative freedom to make the crust thick or thin, to put whatever toppings you like and you get to eat it fresh out of the oven.  Add whole wheat or spelt flour into your dough and you have yourself a wonderfully healthy pizza crust.  You can eat pizza and feel good about it afterward.

Healthy Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
Yield: Serves 8-10
Prep Time:  30 minutes
Total Time:  2 hours and 15 minutes


Ingredients:

1 1/3 cup warm water (warmed to a point where you can just stand to keep a finger in it without burning, if it’s too hot the yeast will die)
2 teaspoons maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, 1 teaspoon to coat 3 large mixing bowl
2 cups whole wheat flour, a handful for sprinkling
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup spelt flour or whole wheat white flour
3 Tablespoons corn flour

Directions:

1) In a large mixing bowl, dissolve warm water and maple syrup, sprinkle yeast on top of water/syrup mixture.  Cover and let stand for about 10 minutes.
2) Slowly add in extra virgin olive oil and a 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour.
3) Once dough starts to form, but is still wet, add salt.  (If salt is added too soon, it will kill the yeast.)
4)  Continue to stir while adding in the another cup of whole wheat flour.  Once dough starts to come together and isn’t sticking to the sides as much, place the dough onto a floured hard surface.  Being to knead dough, slowly adding the final 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour and the cup of spelt flour.  Knead for 10 straight minutes.
5) Place the dough in a ball form into a large well oiled mixing bowl.  Cover with a towel and place in a quiet warm place.  Let dough rise for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
6) Once doubled in size, punch the dough down and divide into 2 balls.  Place in two separate well-oiled bowls, cover with a towel and let the dough rise for another 45 minutes.
7)  After 40 minutes, place your pizza stone into the oven at 350 degrees for 10 minutes to warm.
8) While stone is warming, roll dough out into a flattened circle (or whatever form you’d like your pizza to be, thin or thick crust).
9) Remove pizza stone from oven.  Sprinkle corn flour onto pizza stone.  Place rolled dough onto warm pizza stone.  Place whatever additional ingredients you like on your pizza.  Perhaps sauce, cheese, pre-cooked veggies, etc.
10)  Turn oven to broiler setting, place pizza in top shelf under boiler and cook for 15-20 minutes.



Health Benefit:  
Whole Wheat  -- how often do you take into consideration the grain you are eating when you eat pizza?  If you eat white flour, the germ and bran are removed, which is where most of the nutrients are.  If you’re going to eat flour, eat it whole.  Your body will thank you in the long run.

Variation:  
Spelt flour adds a really nice nutty flavor to the pizza dough.  Replace all of the whole wheat flour with spelt flour.  Spelt flour is usually available at your closest health food store.
If you like corn, add a little corn flour into your pizza dough before kneading.
If you don’t have a pizza stone, grill it.  Place the rolled pizza dough on a hot grill and turn over after 3-5 minutes.  Grilling pizza is a tasty way to enjoy pizza on those nice sunny days.
Add an egg to the center of your pizza for a little added protein.  

Beginners Tip:
If the yeast does not become foamy as soon as you add it to the warm water and sweetener, your yeast is dead.  Buy new yeast and keep it stored in the refrigerator.  

Wisdom:
Pizza can actually be pretty healthy, if you make good choices while you’re preparing it.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

10 Ways to Seek a Beginner's Mind

How to cultivate a Beginner's Mind when you've been practicing as long as you have been?

1) Create space in your mind by slowing the breath and emptying your mind.

2) Let go of expectations.

3) If you think you know it, you won't have enough space to learn anything new.  Forget what you think you know.

4) Trust yourself to just be.  Listen to your intuition.

5) Allow the inner critic to release itself from your mind and body.  Laugh at yourself.

6) Focus on your inner-being, not your outer-image.

7) Find inspiration in a new pose.

8) Practice a "regular" pose and shift the breath to a different part of the body, like your eyelashes.

9) No such thing as failure.

10) Take the opportunity to learn something new every single time you practice, whether you like it or not.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Be Determined: It's a New Year

If you are someone who has several complete moments of clarity where you know exactly what you want and how you want it, count your blessings.  Not only do many of us struggle deciphering what exactly we want, but when we are finally confronted by the offer, we often miss it or ignore it as it doesn't seem to be the right time or opportunity.

This doesn't necessarily need to be a life changing desire or heavy moment of realization, it can be as simple as getting up and dancing when you want or applying to a job you've always thought you'd enjoy, but it may end up being life changing, so prepare yourself.  Don't waste your time holding back, wondering, second guessing... Go for it.  Make the opportunity and then take it.



Don't hold back.  Take the risk.  Let go.  Every moment counts, including this one.

Break your routine.  Listen to yourself.

Now is the time.









HAPPY 2014!
YAHOO!!!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Carpe Diem



Do something that makes you feel good every single day.

You are in control of your life.  No one else can do this for you.

We can easily get tied into the humdrum of every day living very quickly and suddenly find ourselves feeling stuck and overwhelmed with monotony.  Falling deep into the depths of simplicity and colorlessness.  Step out and give yourself the gift of impulse, desire, passion and appeal.



Wake up in the morning and crank up the music!  Have a dance party before you go to work.  Go out on a night you'd usually stay in.  Find something that makes you laugh and do it.  Go on a trip.  Eat your favorite food and truly savor it.  Meditate.  Shout.  Whatever it is you love and feel happy doing -- bust out and make a move!

Life isn't worth living if you don't enjoy it every single day.


Sunday, September 15, 2013

Connect to Yourself

There is nothing more satisfying and more beneficial then to connect with yourself, to know that you are giving yourself what you need to be happy, to check in and sincerely express your truest desires to yourself.  This is one of the hardest and yet most gratifying things we can do.  But how often do we do this?  How often do we trust ourselves?  How often do we accept the path we choose and embrace it?  Embrace ourselves?  Embrace life?

We are all on a similar path: to find the truest expression of ourselves.  We look to others who bring out something in ourselves that we like.  We look to music to further express our emotions.  We look to work to give us a sense of freedom.  We look to home to give us a sense of peace.  We look for ways to feel alive, vibrant and full.



Find some time, no matter how small, to give yourself a break from the everyday grind of life to take care of yourself.  Separate from the world, from everyone in your life and be with yourself.  Listen to your thoughts.  Breathe in the silence.  Relax in a space that brings you peace.  Feel what moves you.  Watch your reactions to life as you pass it by.  Allow yourself to surrender to the sweetness of living.

Find something that you absolutely love to do and do it for yourself; you will find the connection to the divine self and will be able to express your full being to the world around you.




The relationship you have with yourself is the greatest challenge and most important relationship that will ever exist.