Spiritual Sundays: Sun Salutations

Greetings Spiiirits!

So as many of you may, or may not, already know…I practice yoga. I am self-taught and definitely somewhere between beginner and intermediate, but I am forever increasing in knowledge and skill daily. 🙂

Yoga is such an amazing practice, for your mind, body, and spirit. It has numerous positive effects on all areas of your being, helping you to become more balanced in every regard. Each pose not only targets a certain area of focus physically, but also has history and spiritual implications tied along with it as well. It is important to be aware of the spiritual connections to each motion as a means of setting your intention for each step of your practice, and thereby getting the full benefit of the poses.

Which leads me to the Sun Salutation. Its more or less a sequence of poses and, though done by those at all levels, it is vastly popular among many beginner yogis. Rightfully so, as it is a delicious mind, body, & spirit warm-up and pretty do-able for those at any level. As I said before, it is important to a full and proper practice, to know the history and spiritual importance of each pose/sequence you do. Being as though the Sun Salutation is so popular and perfect for beginner yogis, I think its a marvelous place to start in making sure we are fully informed. So here’s a little info and I hope it proves useful! ❤

THE SUN SALUTATION

The original Hindu name is Surya Namaskar, Surya meaning “the sun” and Namaskar coming from the root word namas which means “to bow or “to adore”.

Hindus have revered the Sun for thousands of years. They see the Sun as the physical and spiritual heart of our world and the creator of all life itself….an image of, and pathway to the divine.

The sequence begins and ends with a mudra (joined-hands) at the heart center. This is no coincidence as the Hindus see the heart as our own “inner sun”, the seat of our consciousness and higher wisdom. The mind can be corrupted by viparyaya (misconception), but only the heart can know the truth.

The sequence consists of the following basic poses (but poses can be varied for increased difficulty): Mountain Pose, Upward Salute, Forward Fold, Lunge, Plank Pose, Four-Limbed Staff Pose, Cobra Pose, Downward Dog

…ending back in Mountain Pose with hands joined over heart center.

Here’s a video that shows a good visual example of the Sun Salutation in action.

If you practice yoga or are planning to start practicing yoga, I would definitely suggest doing Sun Salutations and taking this knowledge into your practice! I don’t know about you guys, but doing the sequence with this information in mind, definitely makes me feel even more connected and inspired, in motion.

The Sun is within you, spiiirits, and so is the truth!

Namaste

☮ A.T. ☮

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Vegetarian Delights: Stuffed Portobello Mushroom Burger & Sides

Greetings Lovely Spiiirits

Sending good vibes to every single one of you…right…NOW!

As you all may know, in my household, we are pescetarians moving toward vegetarianism. Therefore, it is not uncommon that we will have completely vegetarian meals. On last Tuesday night, Triiin & I used teamwork to make a lovely meatless meal that I’d love to share with you guys! We made a delicious Stuffed Portobello Mushroom Burger with Fried Jalapenos & Bean n Cheese topped French Fries. And lemme tell ya, it was to die for!

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Ingredients:

2 Portobello Mushrooms, Fresh Spinach, 1 Tomato, Fresh Garlic, 1 Onion, 3 Potatoes, 2 Fresh Jalapenos, Beans (any kind), 4 slices Whole Wheat Bread, Pepper Jack Cheese, Vegetable Oil, Butter, Garlic Salt, Parsley, Garlic Powder, Yellow Mustard, Flour, Cornmeal

Steps to Deliciousness:

1st we marinated the mushrooms in flavor. We coated it with a light layer of oil and seasoned it with garlic salt, parsley, mustard, and garlic powder. We let them sit and gain flavor for 30 minutes while we did other prep.

After this 30 minute period was over, we placed the mushrooms gill side up to prepare them for stuffing. You can gut the gills out of the mushroom if you want, but I think that’s a straight up waste of mushroom “meat”, personally! I’d only remove the inside if I was going to stuff the mushroom with more & heftier ingredients than the ones we chose for this recipe. We cut up the tomato and the onion as well as some fresh garlic and began stuffing the mushrooms with it. We also took some fresh spinach from the bag (how many leaves, I’m not sure) and stuffed the mushrooms with them as well. Once the ‘shrooms appeared to have a good amount of stuffing, we used a couple spinach leaves to seal in the stuffing, laying them over and tucking in the corners. After this, we placed them in a small metal pan with a couple tablespoons of oil (2-3) to ensure they didn’t stick. We covered the pan and placed the mushrooms in the oven on 350 degrees, for 20 – 25 minutes.

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For the fries, we took the 3 potatoes and cut them into fry-shaped slices. They were coated with mustard (as a flavoring and sticking agent), Tony Chacheres, garlic powder, & garlic salt. Then we placed them into a mixture of cornmeal & flour, being sure to get a good coating on each. The method for the fried jalapenos is quite similar. We cut them into ring shapes, flavored them with mustard, garlic powder, and garlic salt, and coated them effectively in the flour/cornmeal mixture. (Make sure to remove the seeds from the jalapenos to the best of your ability to avoid a spicy bum later, lol.) We heated up a pot of oil on medium to high heat and “deep fried”, so to speak, the fries and the jalapenos until they begin to float to the top & had the color we wanted. Then we removed them and put them in a strainer lined with napkins, to remove excess grease.

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Using butter, oil, parsley, and garlic powder, we made the toast  for the ‘shroom burgers in a skillet. We heated up the ingredients and flip flopped the toast in the pan until it was around the color and firmness that we wanted. Simple. Then we grated the pepperjack cheese onto the bread and spread barbecue and balsamic mayo onto them. We placed the stuffed mushrooms onto their perspective breads, closed the top of the sandwich and voila!

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After the fries were done, (though already quite delicious), there was still a tiny bit more work to do to prepare them to be the perfectly topped side for this dish. We heated up some leftover beans we happened to still have from dinner another day. (These were beans made from scratch, but never fear! You can use a can as well, for similar quick & easy results). We heated them on medium heat via the stovetop (we don’t even own a microwave, actually), and were careful to keep watch over them as to ensure they didn’t dry out in the reheating process. Once the beans were heated to a good temperature, we spread them evenly over the fries and grated some good ‘ol pepperjack cheese on top.

Le’ Results

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What do ya think? Have you guys ever tried anything like this? Planning to try?

If you give it a go at home, definitely let me know how it turns out!

☮ XOXO A.T. ☮