22.10.14

A Mid-day Ritual (and recipe!)



There is a recipe at the end of this post. But first, some musings-

Lately I've been exploring the idea of ritual. Specifically, a morning ritual. I have never been one to naturally rise early, and I confess that I've been a little upset at myself for not being motivated to get up early every day and do yoga, meditate, journal, exercise, make coffee, walk the dog, spend time with my boyfriend, etc etc etc.

But hey, I know I can get up early if I want or need to. I regularly get up early to teach pre-work yoga classes to the 9-5 crowd and it doesn't take much for me to be chipper even on little sleep and no coffee. But on the days where I don’t have to be anywhere until later, I just simply do not WANT to get up. I love sleeping in. I love lying there, gazing out the window. I love browsing social media, or reading in bed. I love not rushing.

You know what else I love? Lunch. Specifically, I love making lunch. I love making a hot lunch in the middle of the day, on the stove. I particularly love getting creative in the kitchen, cleaning out the last bits of leftovers, the small blocks of cheese, the roasted veggies that look a little suspicious, creating a meal out of what feels like nothing.

Today I made a pudla, an Indian dish made with (high protein, gluten free) chickpea flour that looks like a cross between a pancake and an omelet. Like frittatas and quiches, you can throw in whatever you want and are they are perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Unlike frittatas and quiches, they take about 5 minutes to make.

I pulled out my ingredients. Browned some bacon, prepared the batter. Served the cooked pudla with greens and a dollop of sour cream, on a tray on my desk. A cup of my favorite tea, sugary and steaming. Sunshine streamed in my office, and as I took my first bite, my mouth melted with happiness.

As I was eating my (unexpectedly delicious) creation, I realized that I have been performing a ritual all along. A mid-day ritual. I’ve never worked traditional Monday-Friday 9-5  hours, so I’ve been preparing homemade mid-day meals for myself fairly often for a while now. Even in high school, we got off early enough where I would often make my lunch at home (back then my specialties were tuna sandwiches, pasta salad and fried rice.)

So I’m not gonna tell morning rituals to suck it, because that just seems rude, but I encourage all of you (especially my fellow night-owls!) to try the mid-day lunchtime ritual. Have fun making a meal. Make yourself a delicious drink. Sit outside or next to a sunny window. Take time to appreciate your food. Unplug. Eat. Enjoy.




I found out about pudlas from Sayward at Bonzai Aphrodite, where she whips them up into gluten free vegan delights. I also found out from her that you don’t have to stress about making the perfect pancake shape. Sawyard got her recipe from Kittee at Cake Maker to the Stars. Here is my not-vegan but still gluten-free version

Alina's Bacon, Broccoli and Cheddar Pudla

Gluten Free
Serves 1

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3 strips humanely raised bacon
Grass fed butter
3 button mushrooms
Leftover steamed broccoli
Salt, pepper, cumin, tumeric

Pudla ingredients:
¼ cup garbanzo bean flour
1/8 tsp baking soda
Salt, pepper, cumin, tumeric
Water
White vinegar

Also: 
Shredded cheddar (try getting a block of the good stuff and shredding it yourself)
Sour cream

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Mix dry pudla ingredients (tiny pinches of the spices) and set aside.

Cut 2 pieces bacon into small bits. Cook remaining whole piece bacon on the stove in a small pan. Set aside on papertowel. Cook small bits of bacon. Set aside next to whole piece.

Reserve bacon fat for future recipes. Wipe pan clean. Add knob butter. Once hot, sauté sliced mushrooms at a relatively high heat until browned. Season. Add finely chopped leftover steamed broccoli – could also add fresh broccoli or any other vegetable. Season with salt, pepper, cumin, tumeric (just a tiny pinch of the spices) and stir.

Add bacon bits back to pan with the veggies, stir, and start to smoosh everything in a circle in the center of the pan. Add a bit of water to your pudla dry ingredients until it forms a thin-ish pancake batter consistency. Add just a spash of white vinegar and stir. Pour batter over veggies and bacon on stove.

Wait a few minutes and then flip your pudla. If it doesn’t flip perfectly, don’t freak out. Just get all the uncooked batter bits to the hot surface of the pan because uncooked garbanzo flour can taste gross. Top with shredded cheese and add a lid to pan so that the cheese gets melty as the pudla finishes cooking, only a couple minutes more.

Plate with mixed greens tossed in a light vinaigrette, then top with sour cream and a fancy triangle of bacon from that extra strip you set aside. Take pictures, then give the bacon triangle/strip to your dog.

Eat and enjoy!

Namaste,

A




20.10.14

The bad, the good, the gratitude


This weekend, I experienced a series of unfortunate events. 


Friday night, my honey woke me up from a bad dream because I was whimpering so loudly in my sleep. Saturday we drove across the bridge to Tampa for a concert but couldn't get in because it was sold out. We also passed a downed motorcyclist on our search for something else to do (he ended up being OK). Sunday, I got my first ever traffic ticket- $166 for not fully stopping at a stop sign. And Sunday afternoon we attended the funeral for Jim's old karate instructor. 


But this weekend was also filled with so much good. I taught yoga at my favorite studio and met a new student on a beautiful spiritual path. I took a dance class with an incredible teacher. I walked on the sand and visited my friend, Ocean. I held hands with my man and felt supported and loved. I got to see him and his mother deliver the most moving speech together in celebration of their former instructor and friend. I had to time to enjoy a new book. I ate delicious Chipotle. I got soooo many kisses and snuggles from my doggie. 


So, despite all the crap... There is so much more good. I am grateful for this human experience. I am happy.


I hope you have a fabulous week,


 Namaste, 


A

15.10.14

Inspiration

this is my desktop background right now
source: Lightworkers.org


I just found these 3 links tucked away in my drafts folder. Check 'em out for some cool, mind-expanding inspiration. 

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If you want to explore your spirituality but yoga isn't really your thing, here are some Shamanic Exercises for Awakening Consciousness that you can try, instead (don't worry, yogis can benefit from and love these as well). 

Money is a spiritual thing, an energy just like everything else. Here's an energetic guide to getting More Money in Your Wallet. 

The next few New Moons are 10/24/14, 11/22/14 and 12/22/14. Here's how to Alchemise the New Moon Energy to Manifest Your Goals. 

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Namaste,

A

10.8.14

dōTERRA Essential Oils and Yoga- the perfect pairing



I heard about dōTERRA oils from Cassandra, a friend and dōTERRA Wellness Advocate who attended one of my St. Petersburg Florida yoga classes. I had been providing various oils from my health food store for my students, and she suggested I try dōTERRA. Soon, I was hooked and enrolled as a Wellness Advocate myself, sharing the oils through my website

I purchased The Essential Yoga Program shortly after receiving my first kit in the mail, and was amazed at the different ways I could start sharing the oils with my students. I was so excited to start incorporating the oils in my yoga classes, so was thrilled when my local group of dōTERRA enthusiasts agreed to join me for a practice class. A couple days before the month began, August’s “Balance” workshop was a natural fit.

I chose this class primarily because the slower-paced Vinyasa flow was a great choice for beginner students, but we were also intrigued by the fact that all of the oils come from dōTERRA’s AromaTouch Technique. To make the class even more appropriate for beginners, I decided to modify Reversed Triangle to Triangle Pose, Hand to Big Toe to Tree Pose, and replaced Shoulder Stand to Plow to Fish with Legs up the Wall Pose.

a selection of some of the oils I used in class

With On Guard in the diffuser and Wild Orange and Peppermint in our water bottles, we started the class by applying Balance to our feet- a great way to ground before beginning our flow. I was surprised to see Melaluca (tea tree) used for the main body of the class, but as the "Oil of Energetic Boundaries", it was the perfect choice for a Vinyasa flow designed to do just that- clear us of emotional baggage!

I had my students apply the Deep Blue and AromaTouch Blends to their necks and low backs before settling into the class’s seated postures, finishing in Legs up the Wall pose. It turns out that this modification paired nicely with the oils; one of my students commented that the gentle pressure on the low back in Legs up the Wall intensified the two oil blends they had just applied there—in a good way!

My favorite part of the class was definitely applying Lavender to each student’s 3rd eye, brow and back of neck in Savasana, final relaxation pose. I often do this in my regular classes and students always comment on how lovely this experience is. Lavender encourages calming and self-care, which is what a regular yoga practice is all about. I am definitely grateful for the Essential Yoga Program and its authors, and will be using this book again and again to teach regular Essential Oil Yoga classes in the St. Petersburg and Tampa Bay area!

Namaste,

A

for more information on the oils and oil blends used in class, please visit my website at www.mydoterra.com/newworldoils and search for the following products:

On Guard® Protective Blend
Peppermint Essential Oil
Wild Orange Essential Oil
Balance Grounding Blend 
Melaleuca Essential Oil
Deep Blue® Soothing Blend 
AromaTouch® Massage Blend 
Lavender Essential Oil

Interested in learning how you can receive 25% off (or even FREE!) dōTERRA oils and start using these amazing natural remedies? Or maybe even make some money sharing oils with your friends and family? Email me at alinahallyoga@gmail.com! 

3.8.14

little moments



 This morning, I woke up with my legs swung over the arm of the couch, head on my love's lap, as he dozed nestled into the cushions.

7am. Early for a Sunday. Normally, I would let the dogs out for a quick pee, wake my love, and move us over to the bedroom for a few more hours of sleep.

But he seemed content to stretch out on the couch, and while I wasn't wide awake, I was alert and the morning looked too beautiful to miss.

So I poked around the house, and ended up, eventually, in my meditation room. At first, all I could see was my to-do list. Laundry. Dishes. Follow up emails. Editing. Etc.

No, thank you, not right now. I wanted peace and being, not doing. And I realized that my list could wait. 

I could allow myself a morning. Of meditation, and yoga, and time in nature. Of not rushing. Of little moments. 

So I allowed myself to mosey outside, to walk around the garden. I admired our huge oak tree, covered with birds and bugs and lizards and life. I sat under the plumeria and made friends with a brown toad with gold eyes. I watched ant superhighways, dragonflies, blue jays. 

I took a sun salutation, facing the East. Made my way back inside, made a cup of strong black English tea. 

Back in my Reiki room, I allowed myself to have a slow gentle yoga practice, applying my favorite essential oils beforehand. Stretched my hands overhead and held them there for a couple minutes, smiling with my whole body. Shook and danced and wiggled ... Abruptly stopped and stood like a statue, feeling energy buzzing in my hands and fingertips, rooting down through my feet to the earth and back again.

Sat and practiced happiness meditation, which incorporates mudra (hand yoga), sound healing, energy work and intention setting. Bath sounded good. Made some dōTERRA bath salts. Lit candles, played mantra, blissed out. 

And so it went. Made some other great self care decisions and enjoyed my morning of little moments. Now I'm about to get breakfast with my love. I'll get to that to-do list later. 

Happy Sunday, y'all. X's and O's,

Namaste,

A








6.6.14

Awesome Smoothie Attack

I wasn't super hungry for lunch after having Bulletproof coffee for breakfast (I also had half an organic chai kombucha). It's hot, and getting my organic fruits and veggies (and super rad calories and nutrients) through cooked food or even a big salad didn't really sound super duper appealing. Enter... smoothie! 

Here's what I made for lunch.

Triple Green Smoothie

baby spinach- 2 or 3 big handfuls
1 frozen banana
1 regular banana
frozen berries
frozen green grapes
small handful frozen chopped dino kale
drizzle MCT oil (optional, can swap coconut oil or avocado or a little nut/seed butter. basically, eat your fat!)
organic apple juice to blend (could also use water or soy/coconut/almond/rice milk)

yum!

2.6.14

Join me for #journaljune !


SHORT VERSION:

I'll be journaling every day in June and using #journaljune to document and share the process. Join me! There are no rules, just try your best to journal every day for a month knowing that people all over the world are doing the same. Join us on Facebook (and invite your friends!) 


LONG VERSION: 

Last month, I committed to meditating every day in May. I posted my commitment on Instagram and Facebook, and though I didn't publicly share my journey, being public with that commitment helped me (for the most part) meditate in some form or another every day.

Some days I sat in traditional seated meditation, but more often that not meditation took the form of being mindful in a variety of settings, whether that was chanting along with mantra on my way to work, watching a number of gorgeous sunsets, or taking care to be as present as possible during conversations with others.

This month, I'm returning to a practice that always, without fail, helps me get through life more gracefully: journaling. I have journalled since I could write, and typically go a few months on, a few months off. I have tried morning pages, gratitude lists, food journals, bullet-point lists, etc etc etc. 

It doesn't matter the method you use. It just matters that you do it.

So throughout the month I will be journaling every day and invite you to join me. I will share helpful information and ideas on Facebook and Instagram. THERE ARE NO RULES. Just journal every day in any way you want, for as long as you want, in whatever medium you want. If you miss a day, you don't lose any points. There are no points!!!



SO!!! :) Let's document it and share with each other! I'll be taking pictures throughout the process and posting our Facebook event page with the hashtag #journaljune. I'll be doing the same on Instagram, so if you are an Instagram lover like me, follow me (@alinahall) and post your own #journaljune pics and insights!

And throughout the month, I'll be sharing some of my favorite journaling techniques and insights from the month on this blog

Here's to growth! Here's to play! Here's to happiness!

Namaste,

Have fun,

A

Questions? Breakthroughs? Wanna chat? Email me at newworldmartialartsandyoga@gmail.com