My apologies for being so long in sending a proper newsletter. 2014 was a challenging year for me. I started the year sick, ended the year sick, and was limited by injuries for several months out of the year. Work was intensely challenging on just about every level, day after day, week after week, and it continues to be so. And then there’s concern about the state of society and the planet and trying to figure out what I, honoring my capacity and limits, can do to do more good and less harm (I’ll never get this sent if I get side-tracked in that direction).
I also had some great adventures, including a major home renovation and an extraordinary trip to Cuba, but then was working too hard in between to appreciate and integrate fully my experiences (which is a yoga lesson in itself–addressing whether we need more stimulation when we haven’t had time to address/process previous experiences whether delights or challenges to mind, body, emotions, creativity).
Yes, I’m still teaching, even though working as much as I am these days. You can find me leading an all levels group practice with a wonderful group of people on Tuesday nights from 6:30pm -7:45pm at William Penn House in Capitol Hill. 100% of the proceeds (pay what you can; suggested donation $12-15) support the work camp program at William Penn House. There’s also a weekly group practice for more advanced students on Wednesday nights. Email if you are interested in the Wednesday night practice. More info on classes on my rose garden yoga website.
Yes, for those of you who don’t subscribe, I’m still blogging. With the help of wonderful web designer, friend, neighbor, and fellow yogi, Jess C, I just updated the look of the website. I hope to find time to blog about the many layers of meaning that went into the new design, which has the colors of Kali (goddess of sequencing); the murtis are Dakshinamurti (Siva as teacher) and Saraswati (goddess of learning, the arts, etc.); the books are a small, but important to me as yogini, portion of my library.
If you’re in town, join me for practice one of these weeks or perhaps we’ll run into each other another class or workshop. Please let me know how you are. Best way to be in regular touch are to subscribe to the blog. When there isn’t an interval between working and living and loving, and all the rest, to share more detailed written contemplations about living yoga,I’ll share the signs and exhortations I see around town and remind myself and anyone else who wants the reminder that no matter what is going on, there’s always a moment to appreciate a little beauty–perhaps to notice a heart-shaped cloud in the sky.
Feel free also to friend me or like “Rose Garden Yoga” on Facebook. Instagram possibly coming soon in my copious free time. Ha.
Peace, love, and light,
One of the key teachings about yoga sadhana (practice) is that results best or sometimes only can possibly come with steady commitment for a long period of time.
The red maple in my front garden (really more of a giant tree box) was barely the height of the porch roof when I bought my house. Now, almost 25 years later, it is as tall as the house. And even more stunningly, blazingly, Kali-like red every fall.
She was banished to the outskirts of town by the patriarchy, but the outskirts are nicer than the center of town these days (not actually sure whether the latter is true).
She is unassuming on the surface and secretly wild, and she is completely self-sufficient.
I just reread Marilyn French’s The Woman’s Room and it has me thinking about Kali.
Photo taken in front of the Kali temple just outside of Chidambaram on January 1, 2014.
The other morning, in the middle of meditation, the thought arose of how different my life would have been if my older sister and my birth orders (keeping our congenital make up the same) had been reversed.
Imagine, too, if it had not been for the Russian Revolution, we might not have all grown up having read Nabokov’s Lolita.
Cooking is not only an exquisite opportunity to notice and appreciate the various characteristics of the elements of our meal and how they react to heat and fat and cooking times and methods, but a wonderful way to appreciate how everything is ordered in time and space and to honor Kali — the Goddess of Sequencing.
Brussels sprouts seem to be fashionable this year. I’ve always liked them. My preferred method is to braise them: saute lightly in olive oil and/or butter in a heavy pot with a lid, splash some dry sherry, wine, or vermouth into the cooking pot and stir until the liquid is absorbed, add some broth or water (not quite to cover) plus salt and herbs of your choice, simmer until the brussel sprouts are tender and the liquid is absorbed.
My friends are gushing about roasted brussels sprouts. I think the tenderizing, fat-adding delight of roasting has made the much maligned brussels sprout more accessible: toss with olive oil, salt, garlic, and herbs such as rosemary and thyme. Roast at 400F until tender and browned (15-20 minutes). Use peanut oil, ginger, garlic, and soy sauce or Braggs amino liquids for an Asian meal. Try safflower oil, turmeric, ground ginger, garlic, and ground coriander seeds to serve with Indian food. Use just butter (or if vegan a light, relatively flavorless oil such as safflower or canola), salt, paprika, and pepper for an Eastern European flavor.
Whenever I roast vegetables, I toss in an extra head of garlic (separated into cloves), and serve some with the vegetables and reserve some for cooking something else with roasted garlic. Include a variety of vegetables. Just remember that different vegetables need different cooking times. To recognize the mysteries of the Goddess of Sequencing in time and space — you have two choices in roasting vegetables. You can cut the vegetables into different sizes (so you would leave brussels sprouts whole, cut winter squash or turnips into cubes a little smaller than the brussels sprouts, and potatoes into wedges or rectangles that are narrower than the brussels sprouts for them all to be golden and tender, but not overcooked at the same time. As an alternative (as we do with sauteing or stir-frying), you can add different vegetables at different times. You might need a combination of both techniques. If you wanted to add mushrooms to the mix, since those would need to be larger than brussels sprouts, you would want to add the mushrooms later lest they get withered — how much later depends on the size of the mushrooms relative to the other vegetables.
Enjoy (and give homage)!