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Oatmeal and Candlelight Yoga

Posted: February 22nd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Breakfast, Exercise | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment »

I’m still struggling to get enough sleep these days. I’m definitely an 8 to 9 hour sleeper, and getting 6 to 7 throws me off and makes for a cranky morning! Last night I decided that I was going to be proactive though, and I registered for a yoga class for this morning, knowing that even if I wasn’t feeling up to it, I’d go, because I had already paid for it. I think this is the trick!

I woke up at seven, and made myself some of my already made steel cut oats, and stirred in a tablespoon of Justin’s Maple Almond Nut Butter, and some cinnamon. I moved it all around with my spoon until I couldn’t eat anymore, and then just popped it in a container and took it with me. (I’m actually still eating it as I type this). Sometimes, I just can’t get in very much breakfast, but I try to have even a little bit to wake up my metabolism.

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I headed out to Valencia street for my class at the Yoga Tree over in the mission. I loved practicing this week at the Yoga Tree on Castro, but Valencia is a tad closer to where I live if I want to get in a session before work in the mornings, and I thought I’d check it out.

Getting in a little early though, I headed in to Ritual Roasters, to have a teeny tiny cup of coffee. I opted for a single shot cappuccino. Just a little one! Not too much caffeine for me!

Ritual Roasters

Here it is:

Ritual Coffee

Their foam art is so pretty!

The fellow across from me was reading the Financial Times. Aside from being an incredibly interesting newspaper, they print it on a salmon colored newsprint. I used to see a lot more of these on the East Coast, but apparently people in SF are less likely to be interested? A lack of investment bankers?

Ritual Coffee and Paper

I read my copy of Runner’s World to give me some motivation to put lots of energy into my yoga practice. I’m not really a dedicated runner, but the incredible stories in that magazine are great for any sort of personal achievement motivation.

Half of Coffee

I love how my heart flower stayed at the top until I finished my coffee!

Energized, I headed over to Yoga Tree.

More Candlelight Yoga

Candlelight yoga is a class where deep asanas are practiced with the lights off and the room lit only by candles. It’s a great way to start the morning and increase your presence and focus. There were about 40 people in the room, and we got cozy with one another! It was so beautiful!!

Candlelight yoga

The class was led by Pete Guinosso, who is currently leading a 40 day consecutive practice of yoga. There were quite a few 40-day folks in today’s class, and I have to say, I’m kind of in awe of this dedication. I enjoyed Pete’s guiding of our session – but must admit that a few times found myself giggling because he is an entertaining fellow! (I don’t see anything wrong with some lightheartedness in a hard session – he led us well.)

During my yoga, I thought about my health, being thankful that I’m able to move and push my body more and more every day. I noticed a marked increase in my flexibility, even from last week. I also thought about my friends and family, and even the people who I have struggles with.

After about an hour and fifteen minutes of some hard practice, I was sweating up a storm! (There’s no after shot today, because I had to get to work!) I’m really hoping that this is something I will do more often. The high after the fact is pretty wonderful.

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Some Hard Yoga, and Weeknight Indian Meat Curry

Posted: February 18th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

I love the fact that you can now sign up for yoga and fitness classes online, and pay with your credit card. This is really great for anyone who is tempted to flake out on their exercise classes, (erm.. me) because you can sign up for the class when you are feeling good and motivated, and once you pay, you can’t cancel.

After watching all of the recorded Dr. Oz episodes on my tv, I decided quickly that I should get off my backside and get in some exercise before I turned into a couch potato. So I immediately signed up online for an afternoon class at Yoga Tree in the Castro so I couldn’t make any excuses. It was misty, so I took the bus, getting me there a little early so I could chat with people, and take some photos of the studio.

I hadn’t taken a yoga class in more than a couple of months, so I was a little bit nervous as to what I was getting myself into.

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Despite several encouraging recommendations, I had never been to Yoga Tree, and I was a little apprehensive as I walked up the stairs. When I got into the warm and peaceful studio I was immediately assured that I was in the right place. The studio is a large room, with beautifully lit (unscented) candles around the perimeter. I’ve never actually seen candles studio, but I thought it was a nice touch. There is a raised platform which does double duty as both a little shrine, and an elevated space for the instructor to demonstrate poses.

There was also a good music selection, including some light Cat Stevens and music that might be on my indie/folk playlists! I can’t stress how refreshing this was – a big problem I’ve had in other studios has been when I can’t zone out or focus because I’m angry at what I like to refer to as “generic zen-elevator music”.

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My class was a community vinyasa class, taught by Erika, who was actually a sub, and doesn’t normally teach at the studio. She was great, and I’d love to take another class from her! The levels were mixed, and I definitely felt out of shape and creaky! A little bit extra downward dog and child pose time than normal!

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I got in a great workout, and left there a bit of a sweat-ball. Always a good thing! I decided I’d snap a post-workout photo to document that I actually got through it! And, I signed up for their $20-three class trial. I have to use it in the next two weeks, so hopefully it will motivate me to actually get in there and start a little yoga streak.

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After class, it was still misty, but not actually raining, so I took my chances and walked over the really big hill to 24th street, to stop for a drink and head to the market. I went to Starbucks and got my new favorite – a Tazo Refresh Tea bag, steeped in steamed soy. Usually I just get a large tea with a splash of soy, but a soy steamer is a nice post-workout treat.

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I like watching people study and work in this particular Starbucks. Everyone is so focused.

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I had a cookbook in my bag, so I whipped it out to join the fun. I took this book – ‘5 Spices, 50 Dishes‘ by Ruta Kahate – home a few months ago, but haven’t actually cooked anything from it, even though several of my friends have recommended it. I thought that this would be a good book to review, so I’m going to be cooking through it for the next week or so. I made my little shopping list, finished my tea, and then headed to the store.

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Ultimately, my first dish was an outstanding success. I made the Indian Beef Stew, with some grass fed beef stew meat I picked up. The dish is slow cooked, but largely unattended, and the result is this really unctuous meal, with really tender meat and potatoes, with classic Indian spices including coriander, ginger, and garlic.

I served mine over a heaping pile of baby spinach, because I was feeling the need for some greens, and a Trader Joe’s Tandoori Naan bread. There are a couple of good looking bread recipes in the cookbook, but they will have to wait for another day.

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All in all, a pretty great day. I took a new class, got in 6000 steps, and made a completely new dish that got two thumbs up from both myself and Devon.

And now, winding down time with the Celtics vs. Lakers! We are a mixed household – I’m for the Celtics, he is for the Lakers – it makes for an interesting time watching the two teams play head to head. We are being mostly polite, and nobody is doing any rude cheering. At least he isn’t a Yankees fan, I wouldn’t be able to deal with that one.

Good night everyone!

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