Gina Molinari yoga, wellness, travel and coaching
We are often asked to set an intention at the beginning of our asana practice. It's a simple idea to come back to, a reminder of how or why we are practicing. I'd imagine we often chose something that we need in our lives off the mat, and so we chose to practice it on our mat. At the invitation to set an intention in a Vinyasa class the other day, my mind's immediate response was the word "honor" and it got me thinking (yes, I know I shouldn't be thinking while I practice) about my relationship to my body, my practice and the concept of honor.
Honor has a myriad of definitions including: to regard with great respect or esteem, to fulfill an obligation or agreement, or to be a privilege.
We step onto our mats with the balance of using our bodies to experience the privilege of the practice and respecting our bodies in the practice. Dance the asana and listen to the response. The Body is both the humble, doting servant and the grateful Queen. The relationship must be fair and balanced.
Then I see another antiquated definition for honor: a woman's chastity, virginity, purity, modesty...
Finding that balance has always felt difficult. How does a woman use her body to fulfill the gifts it affords her, the enjoyment, while also having dignity and respect, especially when honor has historically meant maintaining an untainted and pure body? It makes me think of the Macarena lyrics: Dale a tu cuerpo alegria Macarena, porque tu cuerpo es pa darle alegria cosas buenas/ Give your body joy, Macarena, because your body is meant for giving joy and good things.
I've never quite figured that one out. The dance of using my body to give/receive Joy and remain "honorable" by society's standards seem to clash. So, I suppose my practice is to show up on my mat with the intention of repeatedly exercising myself in a way that honours my body. To find the balance of using it for Joy and pleasure, but still respectfully being with it in order to honor it. To stay engaged and present enough to be conscious with every experience.
How do you practice honoring your body, on or off the mat?
On a lighter note, the crisp weather has encouraged me to start baking and cooking again. Inspired by the rosemary in Yoga Home's community garden plot, I baked these gems for a potluck at Orion Freeman's house concert. Honor your body with some tasty snacks!
Rosemary Lemon Biscuits (Vegan & Sugarfree)
Yield: about 24 biscuits
2 cups flour (I suggest spelt, but use whatever you want)
1 1/2 Tbs baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbs finely chopped fresh rosemary (or more!)
1 cup non-dairy milk
1 Tbs apple cider vinegar
6 Tbs vegan butter (Earth Balance)
1-2 drops of rosemary and lemon essential oils OR
1/2 tsp lemon zest + more rosemary
1. Preheat oven to 450F. In a small bowl, mix ACV and milk. Let it sit.
2. In a larger mixing bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt, rosemary (and lemon zest if you aren't using oils). Combine and then slowly mix in the vegan butter with a fork. Don't overmix! The butter clumps should break down to be about the size of peas.
3. Add the wet mixture to the dry and stir until combined, but don't kill it. Keep it fluffy!
4. Using a lightly floured surface, portion out 1 Tbs blobs and pat them into loose 1ish inch Biscuits. Place on parchment paper on a cookie sheet. They won't expand. Brush the tops with melted vegan butter or coconut oil. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the tops are golden brown and then enjoy them fresh!
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