Gina Molinari yoga, wellness, travel and coaching
Holidays are the time for overindulging on cookies, chocolate, and candies that every neighbor, cousin, and co-worker bring you by the bundle. Even knowing that it's not nourishing your body to eat a plate of peanut butter cookies and candy canes for lunch, our resolve sometimes falls short of our goals.
Don't get too down on yourself!
Tantra yoga teaches a practice of indulgence with awareness. Life is beautiful and filled with amazing things, and vehemently ignoring gives them undeserved power that causes suffering and can disallow us to be thankful for what the universe has to offer. Whereas some branches of yoga demand suppression, tantra suggests that we fully interact with the world by very mindfully enjoying all the beauty that surrounds us. In the new age, a practice that acknowleges ALL our desires and needs is appropriate when fulfilled respectfully. We can be spiritual and enjoy wordly pleasures - and when we supress one or the other, it results in an internal struggle that brings about self-condemnation and confusion.
So when you are presented with a cookie, root down and listen to your unmovable inner witness: Do you want the cookie out of mindless craving or can you indulge in the luxury with awareness?
I'm entirely subject to the lure of the Christmas Cookie, but I'd like to offer another option for an indulgence: Smoothies! Here are a couple of my favorite concoctions that really pack the nutrients into a tasty beverage. I use a Vitamix so I can essentially blend anything I want. These recipes make enough for 2 really big servings and should be altered however your heart desires.
2 carrots, 2 celery stalks, 1 apple, half a lemon, 1.5" peeled ginger root, handful blueberries, handful pineapple/mango/strawberry, handful spinach, handful kale with stalk, 2 tsp chia seeds, 1 Tbs coconut, 1 Tbs raw honey, soy yogurt, water to blend
1 pear, 1 apple, 2" peeled ginger root, 1 celery stalk, 1 tsp raw honey, 1 Tbs goji berries, water to blend
Choco Peanut Butter Banana
2 or 3 frozen bananas (or 2 bananas and one ripe avocado), 1 cup soy milk, 1 Tbs raw cacao, 1 Tbs hemp hearts, 1 tsp flax, 1 tsp raw honey, 2 Tbs natural peanut butter, 1 tsp coconut, 1 tsp coconut oil, splash of vanilla or almod extract, few shakes of cinnamon
Share your favorite smoothie receipe or must-have ingredient in the comments :) How do you handle your winter-time comfort food or cookie cravings?
Transitioning back to life at home as been a little rough (not even considering the 2 weeks of jet lag). I had come from constant adventure, unknown obstacles, different methods of communicating, and a sweaty 90 degrees. Landing back in Philly/NJ brought with it all the same old things in the same old places. Four weeks away flew by for me, but every day was so filled with self-discovery that I felt like I grew in time-defying leaps and bounds. It was easy to forget that everyone at home didn't have the opportunity I had and they were still progressing on their journeys at the speed of life that includes a job, family, commuting, etc.
Basically, I was a bit frustrated with the mundane.
Before I left Thailand I had promised to myself that I would try to find a little adventure and excitement every day. It really takes no effort to get stuck in a mindless cycle of the day-to-day. To float through life on autodrive rather than making moment to moment assessments of what is important to you, how you want to feel, and how YOU want your life to play out.
Well, I haven't managed to meet any foreign travelers, ride an elephant, or spleunk oceanside caves, but I have made my own small discoveries to help keep things fresh and headed in a direction of growth that is important to me. For example, I found a new cafe with a comfy chair in front of a fireplace, busted out my Vitamix for some kickass nutrient dense smoothies, and discovered a community house offering donation based classes.
I've decided that sleeping late really doesn't feel good for me and even if it means going to bed earlier, I'm going to honor my body's energy levels by waking up early. As much as I love teaching Sunrise Vinyasa, I'm taking steps to begin offering yin/gentle/energy based classes. I'm speaking up when I don't feel good about something, even if it causes some tension. It's all the little things that make my groove, MY GROOVE.
With mindful intention it's entirely possible to create your existence rather than just live by floating down that river and forgetting where the oars are. Go explore the shores, find something new, and break out of the mundane!
If you haven't already, read about my journey in Thailand and Siem Reap at www.mytb.org/Gina-Marie. Some highlights: Thai cooking class, riding/washing elephants, paddled a 3-person seak kayak myself, waded through a bay with my backpack, climbed all over Angkor Wat (and everything else, really), slept in a hut with 26 people, enjoyed $6 massages, chatted with a monk, spoke lots of Spanish....just go read it!
I've missed you all! I apologize for the silence - my mobile app didn't work for updating the blog from Thailand. I hope you'll visit my blog page and check out my journey in Thailand and Cambodia. Longterm travel is such an incredible way to challenge yourself and cope in the unknown. Although the adventure was exhilerating, I'm happy to be back to normalcy for the time being. My classes will resume this weekend and I can't wait to teach and share some love!
Over the next week or so (my birthday is in one week!) I'll give you a real update, chock full of the lessons I learned on my trip.
Tell me, what have you been up to? What do you want to hear about? How do you feel?
Ramblings, insights, & motivation