Life Takes Over!

So, dear readers, as you can tell, I have fallen WAY behind. This is a factor of a change in jobs last summer that keeps me even busier (didn’t think it was possible), living away from my family 4+ days a week (so not cooking), and sheer exhaustion.

However, I have been fairly active on Instagram and Twitter, so if you aren’t already following me there, you can (TheVeganAsana on both).

In yoga news, I’m still trying to practice 5-6 days a week, though often for a somewhat shorter time period. I struggled with trying to move my practice to mornings and it wasn’t very successful. RA presents obstacles there. So, it’s evening practice either alone or with an online video. Lately, I’ve been using videos from Fightmaster Yoga, though I’m always happy to hear about your favorites!

In food news, I’m not doing much cooking, but have been mostly eating salads, as that’s an easy meal for just me. But, I will put in a plug for a Philadelphia restaurant that I am loving to visit when I can. If you have not been to The Tasty, and you are a vegan in Philly, you should go!  It’s not the place to drop by if you are looking for a super nutritious meal, but if you want diner style comfort food that is vegan, it rocks. And the coffees are superb.

In life news, I’m using my paper planner (Filofax) as a creative outlet, by combining elements of bullet journaling and planning. Sometimes, I wonder if the pages are a little too cute for using in the office. Other times, I don’t care even a little.   This week, with only part of the Monday stuff added…  If you enjoy planner or bujo layouts, those tend to show up with some frequency on my Instagram feed.

I’m hoping that I can remember to post more, and that my author friend – Emmeline – will also post now and then. But, until next time, namaste!

 

 

Yoga from the Third Eye Chakra: Or Trusting My Intuition

third-eye-chakraAs you have probably noticed, things have been pretty quiet around here. Over the last year, I was enmeshed in several projects on the work and home fronts that slowed down my blogging and refocused my attention. In the month of June, I spent a lot of time packing and preparing to end a job at a place I had worked for 18 years. And then on July 1, I started a new position that involves working away from home for much of the week. This has cut down on my cooking and, when I do cook (I batch cook on the weekends), I’m in a hurry to get it all done and don’t take pretty pictures. Eventually, I’ll probably post my batch cooking plans, but for now it’s been a bit of a drought of blogging.

To be honest, I don’t anticipate the blogging rate picking up much while I’m getting into the swing of a new job, but I thought I would share a little bit about where I am with my yoga practice at the moment.

With several health issues, including a major surgery, a severe infection (related to the major surgery), a fall down a flight of stairs resulting in a broken tailbone, and a plethora of RA flares, my practice really waned in the last two years. It never completely left, but it wasn’t very present either. As I relocated, and had a little space with no one in it but me and a cat, the possibility of leaving a yoga mat front and center at all times seemed to make it more possible to get in a regular practice.

Five plus weeks later, I find myself practicing at least 5 days a week, sometimes more, for at least 40 minutes a day. Whee! I started out doing a very traditional vinyasa/ashtanga surya namaskara a & b pattern, followed by a planned set of poses that I had often used in my vinyasa classes or been led through in classes I attended. After a week or so of this, I gradually let go more of that pattern and began to really tune in to what my body needed in any particular moment.

At this point, I’m calling this “intuition yoga” when I think about it. If I get on the mat and I need sun salutations to warm up the muscles and get the joints lubricated, that’s what I do. But, if my joints are very painful, I’ll opt for an easier flow followed by more static poses. If the front of my body feels really tight, I focus on opening it up. If I’ve accidentally slept on my back and wake up with horrible tailbone pain, I do very gradual standing forward folds that take the muscles surrounding that area to the edge and stretch them gently, but never move beyond. Because of the sacral pain, I’m rarely doing seated folds, even the ones I enjoy (like janu sirsasana) because I know my body will pay me back for that momentary pleasure with hours of spasms.

Doing yoga this way is working well for me right now. I have seen my practice change so much in the last 8+ years of serious yoga focus that I know it will likely shift again, but if feels good to know where I am and what is working for me and notice the positive impacts on my body and mind as I move through my day.

Do you follow your intuition in your practice, or are you more of a “by the book” kind of yogi right now?

 

Shopping for Vegan Yogis on Your List

So, you are shopping for a vegan, or a yogi, or a vegan yogi, and you are at a loss. I’ve got a few ideas that might help. I tried to list things from various price ranges, and only listed things that I personally own. I’ll attempt to pop back in and add more as I think of them. Items that were sent to me to review are so noted, but most of these were purchased at list price.

Yogi Surprise Boxes

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This company sent me their surprise boxes to review and I was impressed with how adorable they are, and what good selections were included. There are two options for the box. One contains more beauty, food, wellness, and yoga items. The other is jewelry. These would be great for someone you had no idea how to pick a gift for, but would likely not be appropriate for the male yogi in your life, as some of the beauty items seem to be slanted to women.

Right now, the Yogi Surprise boxes are 10% off. This makes the lifestyle box $39.46 and the jewelry box $22.49. The plan is monthly, but you can cancel at any time.

My Best Friend is a Bag Lindsey Bag

IMG_4005a IMG_4006a IMG_4011aIn the fall, I realized that I needed a black briefcase that was vegan friendly, laptop compatible, and looked professional. That’s not as easy as it sounds. Of course, I also wanted it to be pretty. After quite a bit of searching, I came across a company called My Best Friend is a Bag. While they are located in Australia, one of their bags, in two colors, is available on Amazon.com. So, I thought I should try it out!

The Lindsay bag is very pretty, easy to use, spacious enough for every day, and feels like a bag that will last. I took the tassel off of mine because the cats kept pulling over the bag and it was a little big for me. Upon first use, the side magnets didn’t want to hold things closed with the pockets full, but as I’ve used it more and the magnet flaps have loosened, it’s all good!

Not only is the bag pretty and functional, the customer service of MBFiaB is wonderful! I contacted the company because I lost the snap on key fob on my first business trip after receipt (I turned it in with my rental car, DOH!), to see if I could purchase another one. While they didn’t have any to sell, the owner assured me that, when they had a bag return, she would have the key fob sent to me for now charge. Sure enough, she did, and I got it just this week. Very nice! I’m thinking I may also need the red one!

Borsa Bella Bags

I have told you about Borsa Bella Bags before, but let me do it again! This company makes the most adorable fabric bags of all sizes and types. I have a particular weakness for the phone bags and the Catch All bags. If you look at the image taken above of the Lindsay bag, you will see a long zip phone bag and a catch all bag tucked inside!

At the moment, there is even a special going on for the Catch All bags. You need to get some for you and your friends and family for makeup, gadgets, and general stuff!

 

 

 

 

 

Crazy Rumors Lip Balm

It can be a little challenging to find vegan lip balm, but Crazy Rumors has you covered, even for funky flavors and tinted balms. They have some fun flavors/scents for the holidays, as well.

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Thug Kitchen

Like food? Like the earth? Like your health? Like funny? Not afraid of a little (or a bunch of) profanity? This might be the cookbook for you!

Thug Kitchen is one of the few cookbooks that have ever made me laugh out loud, and I spent an afternoon following my spouse around the house reading him selections. He was thrilled, or… something. The recipes aren’t all super simple, but they don’t involve particularly weird ingredients and those I have tried have been quite good.

Woodstock Farm Sanctuary

No,  you can’t buy the farm as a gift, but you could give a donation in someone’s name and help support the really important work that gets done at the farm. From now until the end of the month, all donations are matched dollar for dollar! Just head over to the Woodstock Farm Sanctuary website and make a donation. You should also look at all the pictures, while you are there, because pigs!

Queen Helene Bath Salts

Who doesn’t like a nice relaxing bath? Some lavender and patchouli bath salts add to the relaxation potential. These Queen Helene salts are vegan friendly and inexpensive. They would make a very nice little stocking stuffer gift!

Delicious Peanut Butters!!!

Peanut Butter & Company has some really delicious peanut butters that any peanut loving vegan would snarf right up. The Dark Chocolate Dreams version is so crazy good that I may (did) eat it with a spoon right out of the container. Oh my! You can check out all of their options at ilovepeanutbutter.com. Not all of the version are totally vegan (some have honey), so do read ingredients before purchasing.