Thursday, January 28, 2010

Locust Pose and Lotus... Roots?

I am sure some of you know more about yoga than others so for the sake of the newbies, I will do some explaining.

The type of yoga I do is vinyasa yoga. Basically, vinyasa yoga is a flowing form of yoga with lots of breathing and flowing postures. It is much more aggressive and active than more traditional and well known hatha yoga. The studio I go to also heats the room to 105 degrees, and sometimes with so many people in there, the room gets even hotter. Luckily, they clean the floor constantly and the floor is antibacterial. The heat really allows for better flexibility and all that sweating is great for getting your body rid of toxins that you eat, breath, and live in everyday. It is such an incredible workout for your cardio system, your muscles and joints, and for calming your mind after a long day. I LOVE it!

As if heated vinyasa wasn't hard enough, the studio I go to also does sculpt classes where you basically do vinyasa yoga and combine posses with weights! and also do a bunch of other weight work. These are usually the most popular classes and fill up with 30-45 add their body heat to the heated room, and you end up with a hot sweaty mess.

Last night I was taking the hardest sculpt class. I usually just take little child pose breaks when I need to and usually can make it through ok. Last night...not so much. About half way through the class I got super nauseated and after about 40 minutes I literally could not do anything else! I did not feel so badly because I was next to a very buffed guy who couldn't do anymore either! The instructor was nuts!

For the last 5 minutes of class we did some stretching and spine strengtheners. There are many spine strengtheners where you lay on your stomach and lift your chest, legs, etc., to strengthen the spine, particularly after a bunch of crunches. One of those poses is called "locust pose" and last night I couldn't help but giggle at the resemblance of the name to the resemblance of my planned dinner last night!

I tried another super food for the first time....lotus roots! Inspired buy The Kind Diet, I roasted slices of lotus root with garlic infused olive oil and a dash of sea salt for 20 minutes at 375. My slices were pre-sliced and I think it would have been tastier and taken less time if they were thinner. Then I took them out of the oven and I tossed them with a little maple syrup / agave mixture from Trader Joes (maybe 2 tablespoons) and put them back in the oven for about 15 more minutes. They got nice and brown and were really pretty tasty! We also steamed some unpictured bok choy whole and then topped it with flax seed oil and ume vinegar and a dash of black sesame seeds. This was also inspired from The Kind Diet and I have to say, it was amazing! Aaron doesn't even like boy choy, and I hate flax seed oil, but the combination was great! We scarfed it up. For a little substance, I made "asian burritos" again inspired by The Grains of Paradise, with rice paper, baked tofu, lettuce, and these pretty purple and orange baby carrots from a little farm stand in my neighborhood. We dipped those in a soy / sweet chili sauce.

Aaron sat back after dinner and said, "that was a good dinner...actually, that was a great dinner! Thanks, Honey!" See, you can make a meat eater like tofu and...bok choy! Note to self: If you want Aaron to eat his vegetables, just add maple syrup! Ha! It was a filling and healthy dinner and after that crazy yoga class and a few pages of vampire love was off to bed.

Needless to say, I slept like a rock last night and this morning my normally difficult vinyasa flow class felt like an easy dream. A great way to wake up in the morning and stretch my sore muscles from last night. And it was especially great followed by a tropical smoothie with oat milk, frozen bananas, frozen mango, fresh guava, and a little coconut water. I also added some yogurt which is the first dairy product I have had in almost a month! It was a great way to rehydrate and get some protein and potassium too.

Here is one of the guavas from my farmer's market in Leucadia. The man who sold these to me said they are a super food too! (what's with all these super foods lately? I am a super food! Hee...hee....) Anyway, I guess they have something like 8 times the potassium of a banana. They sure smell good, my whole house smells like guavas. They have lots of seeds that you can just eat but they all blended away in the smoothie.
(Sorry for the lack luster pictures on this post and the pictures are hard! I am sure I will master it soon. I will keep adding my pictures of flowers and other scenes to keep you interested. Those are much prettier.)

One last note on food... everyone seems to like soy milk as an alternative milk. I think people are not educated as to how many milks there are!!! I just try to limit my soy milk intake because I would rather have soy in tofu or soybeans, or ice cream, etc. I really like almond milk, rice milk, and Trader Joe's has this mixed grain milk which is really good. Hemp milk is also surprisingly good. (Don't worry, it's not green.) But my favorite is Oat Milk. It has a really good flavor and has about 4 grams of protein per cup. It tastes incredible with oat meal! All this talk of food is making me hungry. Off to eat some lunch!

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