Sundays and Mondays are usual days of reflection and inspiration for me. I find the close of one week and the beginning of another the perfect junction for setting intentions and succumbing to daydreams. I mopped the floors this morning. Something about the long strokes of the mop settles me, much the same way as the trickle of water does while washing dishes. These days are also an exchange of old for new — we use the leftover food in the fridge, and I prep a few fresh treats for the week ahead. Last night we cooked steel cut oatmeal in the crock-pot and woke up to a warm, creamy and nourishing breakfast without much effort. We have enough oats left over to enjoy for breakfast tomorrow and the morning after. I also steeped a sweet loose leaf herbal tea mix, filled with apples and hibiscus and rosehips. Refrigerated, the tea makes an unbelievably refreshing cold drink. For Piper, I made quick popsicles from blended chunks of pineapple and a small handful of spinach. With the weather as hot as it has been recently, I know we will all be eating our fair share of ice pops to stay cool. I find that if I use fresh, ripe fruit I don’t even need to add any sweetener to the pops. Instead, I like to add a squeeze of lemon or lime for tartness (though not with fruit that is itself already tart). Later on in the week I plan to bake a healthy seeded bread, soak chickpeas for fresh hummus, and cook up a simple vegan cheese sauce to pour over whole-wheat elbow pasta for Piper.
Yesterday, we met with a friend who I attended yoga class with for a while last year. I’m certain that I’d like to start going again, and since the class is offered for donations once every week, I imagine I’ll end up in class sooner than later. Home practice has been alright, though I am not great about carving out time for myself to spend on the mat. Once there, though, I have been enjoying quality practice with a routine from a yoga magazine. The other week I felt very zealous and went through 6 sun salutations before going into a more focused asana practice, followed with time breathing quietly in meditation. The magazine I have offers several simple meditation techniques to help calm and focus the mind, ranging from counting the breath, focusing on a lit candle, mantra, to sky gazing and more. In one book about yoga that I’ve read a bit of (but unfortunately, not finished — what a tome!), yoga scholar Georg Feuerstein discussed meditation as an initiate practice, reserved only for those who are ready. Despite his feelings, I am of the belief that there is a scientific (at the very least) benefit to time spent in meditation, tangible to all those who sincerely cultivate the discipline. However, he being the scholar and I being a mere on and off again at home Yogi, I’m certain he had his own sound reasons behind his sentiments. I can certainly understand the depth of the feelings that arise when in meditation, and the path the mind takes to try to skirt focus — so in this regard, perhaps a person must be ready — to sit in stillness, to face what lies beneath the surface, to deconstruct limiting and false beliefs, etc. Wow! Who has the “time” for that? It sounds a bit scary when put that way, right? Whether for philosophical reasons or for a few minutes spent breathing slowly to consciously calm the mind and bring peace to the body, meditation is definitely an interesting and fulfilling practice worth delving into — at least for me, that is.
Well, it looks as though there has been a small rain shower that offered some respite from the heat while I’ve been writing. I’ll finish here and wish you all a lovely week. Do you have any exciting plans? What will your focus be this week?