My third Friday Photo
Hopefully you see what I see, otherwise it is just onions on the edge of my plate. 🙂
Posted by terrepruitt on October 19, 2016
In January I started writing about the Eight Limbs of Yoga with a post called More To Yoga Than Just Asana. They are 1-The yamas, 2-The niyamas, 3-The asana, 4- Pranayama, 5-Pratyahara, 6-Dharana, 7-Dhyana, and 8-Samadhi. I finished posting briefly about the niyamas in April. So it has been six months since I visited any of the limbs on my blog. I thought I would pick up with the fifth limb – pratyahara and share a what I understand about it. As I have said before, all the limbs and their smaller branches (like the yamas and the niyamas) can (and do) have volumes written about them. I am only scratching the surface AND only exposing what I understand them to be at this time. Pratyahara is the withdrawal of the senses.
That is what I have heard it described as. I never really understood or agreed with the “withdrawal of the senses”. The initial “scratch on the surface” was not enough for me to get on board with this limb. As I looked briefly into the meaning or the idea, I think I understand it a bit more. Now I can totally relate.
The books I used to help me put it in perspective and allow me to understand it in a way to actually apply it are B.K.S. Iyengar’s The Path To Holistic Health, T.K.V. Desikachar’s The Heart of Yoga and B.K.S. Iyengar’s Light On Pranayama.
In The Path To Holistic Health B.K.S. Iyengar said, “When the senses withdraw from objects of desire, the mind is released from the power of the senses, which in turn become passive. Then the mind turns inward and is set free from the tyranny of the senses. This is pratyahara.” Ok, I feel that put me on the path to understanding. Him saying “withdraw from objects of desire,” made me think, “Ok, we are not just shutting off our senses.” I made me think that it is more of a form of concentration than a form of torture.
Then in The Heart of Yoga, I understand T.K.V. Desikachar’s to be saying that we might sense things but we ignore them, but we don’t really do it necessarily as a conscious practice, but because we are in the moment. We are attuned to what we are doing. We are focused. To me his explanation made a lot of sense because he was saying that our senses are not entirely withdrawn and shut off . . . we are just focused. As an example, in an asana practice we are going to be aware of our body and sensing where our arms are in relation to our hips, but we are not going to be thinking about how we need to apply lotion to our arms or how our hips sway when we do the latest dance move. While lotion and dance moves might not be examples of “objects of desire” they are examples of thoughts that distract us from the asana practice.
It also sounded to me like T.K.V. Desikachar was saying that we can – and more than likely have experienced Pratyahara before. It could be when we are so focused on something we don’t realize what is going on around us. Perhaps on the phone and not noticing someone is trying to get our attention. Perhaps we turn everything out when focused on a task such as cooking, knitting, sewing, writing, drawing, etc. Where the senses are withdrawn because the focus and concentration is so intense. This goes along with T.K.V. Desikachar saying that pratyahara comes naturally.
I’m thinking that not having it be a conscious practice might depend on what you are doing. I could be at first we might have to really focus on concentrating, but eventually it will just become a part of our practice. I think the more we practice the better we can achieve pratyahara. Light on Pranayama described pratyahara as quieting the mind saying that pranayama and pratyahara help with that. I know that when I focus on my breathing it helps quiet the mind and I feel more focused.
So now that I feel that pratyachara is not just withdrawal of the senses to all that is around you, I feel that I could actually be practicing and doing this limb of yoga. At this point it helps when I am in a class or following a yoga application and not just doing yoga on my own. We all know how distracted I get when I do that.
How about you? How well do you practice pratyahara when doing yoga? Can you think of a time when you have experienced pratyahara when not doing yoga?
Posted in Yoga/PiYo/Pilates | Tagged: asana, asana practice, B.K.S Iyengar, conscious practice, Eight limbs of yoga, Light On Pranayama, More To Yoga Than Just Asana, niyamas, pranayama, pratyahara, T.K.V. Desikachar, The Heart of Yoga, The Path To Holistic Health, withdraw from objects of desire, withdrawal of the senses, yamas, Yoga class | Leave a Comment »
Posted by terrepruitt on October 17, 2016
I always thought is was sitz boneS, but Wiki says it is sitz boneZ. I will probably continue to call them sitz bones. Or get really fancy and call them by the correct name: ischial tuberosity. I thought I should post a picture of them since I am often instructing students to sit on their sitz bones. I wanted to make sure that people knew where they were and what they were. It is easier to consciously sit on something or affect something when you are aware of what it is and where it is. While this (see below) is not the best rendering of the bones in the hip area I think you can get the idea.
Typically the front upper part of the hip bone structure is thought of and called the hip bones. But actually the entire bone is the hip bone. The hip bones are part of the pelvic girdle. The front portion somewhat at the top, the area we often refer to as the “hip bone,” is the Iliac Crest which is on the edge of the Ilium. The bottom portion is the ischial tuberosity or sitz bonez. The sacrum and the coccyx are part of the vertebral column and not considered part of the pelvic girdle. There are names for other portions and areas of the bones, but since this post is about the sitz bones, I’m not going to list and label them all.
We are all built differently so some of us will have more flesh to get through to actually feel the sitz bones. And some of us will feel them rather easily. Either way . . . . we all have them. We sit on our sitting bones or sitz bones. My drawing does not clearly show the acetabulum, the place where the head of the femur (thigh bone) fits. It is about where the words “Tail Bone/Coccyx” is. You might be able to imagine when the thigh bone is moved to a sitting position, the sitz bones protrude a bit.
In yoga often times the correct way to do the pose is to have both sitz bones on the floor. In stretching having both stiz bones on the floor is sometimes the way to get the most out of the stretch. At times the way to do the yoga pose it to be sitting directly “on top” of them. Other times they might be used as reference points or points of focus. When in downward facing dog the instruction might be given to reach your sitz bones away to help lengthen the spine and take the weight off of the hands. For one stretch, one might instruct to pull your foot directly back to your sitz bones.
In Nia we occasionally use the sitz bones and the floor to give our glutes a massage. Gently moving around on them, perhaps rocking and/or rolling, while sitting on the floor can be a great way to ease the muscles we just danced during the class.
Sitz bones are used a lot and referred to often in yoga, stretch, and Nia, so I thought I should highlight them.
Are you familiar with your sitz bones?
Posted by terrepruitt on October 14, 2016
Posted by terrepruitt on October 12, 2016
When I get home at noon on Wednesday it seems like the day goes by really quick. I am working on my Nia routine for class the next day. I am working on the stretch routine for class the next day. I might have to put together something for yoga for the class the next day. Plus I have a blog post I would like to write. So I just don’t have a lot of time to think about dinner. Well, tonight was one of those nights. I hadn’t even really thought about a blog post during the day. And I was making up dinner as I was cooking it. I really didn’t know what I was doing. Cooking the steak we have is always an adventure. I hadn’t really thought about a blog post as I was flying by the seat of my pants as I cooked dinner. At the last minute I thought well this might work and I snapped a couple of pictures. I didn’t really know how I was going to cook the meat or gnocchi. I had taken out two packages of meat. I thought each one was a steak, but it turned out each one was two cuts of meat. Yay. Now, we have dinner for tomorrow, well at least the meat part. I always try to have some gnocchi in the freezer, I thought it would go well with the steak. But I wanted it different – normally I just boil it. I thought after I boiled it I could pan fry it, to give it that crispy brown. My friend taught me that.
I have a friend who used to make . . . now I don’t even remember what type of gnocchi was . . . I think it was butternut squash gnocchi. Perhaps it was sweet potato. I didn’t even like gnocchi until she gave it to me. She apologize when she gave it to me because “it didn’t turn out right” and she recommended pan frying it. I thought, “Ok, whatever.” It wasn’t potato gnocchi so I thought it must be better cooked differently. Turns out ALL gnocchi is better cooked that way. But her gnocchi was THE BEST. It was sooooooo yummy.
Most gnocchi has to be boiled first and then it can be pan fried. Well, that is the way I like it best. With a little bit of browning on it. I had never done such a large batch before and some of it broke up and got a little mushy, but then the mush browned so I was ok with that. I threw in some kale and it rounded off our steak great.
Do you like potato gnocchi? Do you like it boiled? Have you ever tried browning it?
Posted by terrepruitt on October 10, 2016
I know that I have written posts about how different people think of different things as exercise. I have written about how some people don’t think that a shimmy is exercise. Whether they don’t THINK of it as something that should be IN an exercise CLASS or they just don’t think they get any benefit from it. Some people just don’t think of dance as exercise. I know I even mentioned that TV shows like Dancing with the Stars and So You Think You Can Dance have changed the way some people think. Some people understand that dancing can be considered exercise. But I don’t think I have ever talked about how some people don’t consider all dance dancing. I might have but I don’t know that I have and it was something I was thinking about recently. I was thinking that not all “dancing” is considered dancing by everyone.
I was asked to substitute teach a class called Dance Fit. I had asked several times what “Dance Fit” was, but the response was that the students would be happy to just move to music. I had a feeling that the person answering just wanted to make sure that they had a teacher so that they would have a class. So I had been thinking about what I could do. Then I was also thinking about how I was recently at a festival where I overheard some people talking about a particular person there dancing. They were saying that he wasn’t really dancing. They were saying that they thought he wasn’t hearing the music. They just weren’t “getting” his movements. And I was looking at him and I thought it was fine. I could see how his movements fit with the music . . . to me. I thought that he looked as if he was completely dancing in a way that his body was responding to the music. He looked like he was in the moment. He looked as if he was having fun. It was fine to me.
But later I realized that not everyone thinks of all movement as dance. A ballerina might not consider clogging dancing. A ballroom dancer might not consider the pony (remember that move?) a dance. Someone used to doing Latin motion with their hips might not consider a chorus line kick part of a dance. So perhaps those women had specific ideas of what dance is and so they didn’t consider his body movements dance at all.
I think that might happen when it comes to Nia. Some people might not consider a front kick or an upward block a dance movement. People that are accustomed to all the Latin dance steps that are in Zumba they might not consider a jazz square a dance move. Just like some people might not consider a shimmy something that should be in an “exercise class”, some people might think a move such as rock around the clock or a duck walk isn’t really dance and shouldn’t be in a dance exercise class. I think I have overlooked that fact. Hmmmm.
Well, I had decided to not try to create something or TRY to do something that the class MIGHT like – because I really had no idea. I decided to do something tried and true. I decided to do something I do best. I decided to teach Nia. And they loved it. The supervisor was totally correct in saying that the class just loved to dance and they want to move. They were fabulous. We had a lot of fun. Nia is a great “product”, it is a great technique. And when people who like to move get to experience we get to have fun. I am looking forward to the next couple of weeks where I get to fill in as a sub. The students are all about movement of the body being dance and they do great. I was concerned about it for no reason.
What about you? Do you think of only certain moves as DANCE? Do you have a broad definition of dance?
Posted in Nia | Tagged: dance class, dance exercise, Dance Fit, dance teacher, Dancing with the stars, Duck Walk, exercise class, Nia Dance, Nia students, rock around the clock, shimmy as exercise, So You Think You Can Dance, Zumba | 2 Comments »
Posted by terrepruitt on October 7, 2016
In January of 2016, I decided to post on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Since 2009, I had been posting on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. I thought, since I didn’t teach Nia or yoga on Mondays or Wednesdays it would be easier. Well, you might have noticed I have missed posting a few times. Sometimes I am busy with something else or I can’t think of anything to post. The latter is the really big one. I can sometimes rush out a post when I am busy but I know what I am going to write about. But sometimes I know what I want to write about but the research or the pictures end up taking longer than I thought . . . so I end up not posting. A couple of times I had written the post and I planned on posting it after I read through it one more time, then I have gone about my evening and forgotten to publish the post. All types of things can come up. Having no idea of what to write is a deal breaker, though. Can’t write when you have no idea! Anyway . . . Fridays seem to be the most difficult. So I am going to change my Friday posts. I am going to post a photo on Friday. I’m gonna call it Friday Photo. Not original, I know, neither in name or format, but I often have photos I want to share, but they don’t have a story, it could be that I just like it.
A picture on Friday. These will not be works or art, by any means. They will just be a photo of whatever I want. So just like my blog posts where I post pictures . . . . you will see a lot of our cats, a lot of flowers, a lot of birds, and just ordinary things. I am just gonna see how it goes.
The photos might even be from years past. It just depends.
Thank you for hanging out with me for a moment on Friday. Here is my first Friday Photo:
Sunset At Corner
Posted by terrepruitt on October 5, 2016
So I wanted something easy to cook the other night and I thought it would be nice if I could use the broccoli that came in our latest produce delivery. So what is easier than a casserole? Not much. So why not a chicken, broccoli, and cheese casserole! So here is what I did, completely easy!
Chicken, Broccoli, and Cheese Casserole
1 1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup flour
2 cans of chicken
1/4 of an onion
3 cups of chopped broccoli
1 tsp garlic salt
a couple of twists of pepper
1/2 of a bell pepper
2 1/4 cup shredded cheese
3 tablespoons butter
3/8 cup panko bread crumbs
Preheat the oven to 425° F.
Pour the milk into a large bowl. Then put in the flour. Whisk it together using either a whisk or just a fork. Get all the flour lumps out. Then add the chicken. Chop the onion and then add it to the bowl. Stir the milk mixture, the chicken, and the onion together. Then add the chopped broccoli. Add the garlic salt on top of the broccoli, then a couple of turns of a pepper grinder. (Or as much pepper as you like.) Then mix all the ingredients. Chop the bell pepper, then add it to the bowl, then add 2 cups of cheese. Then stir it all together.
Grease a casserole dish (I used a 8 inch X 11 inch), then pour or scoop the mixture into the dish.
Melt the butter and mix it with the panko bread crumbs. Then mix in the rest (1/4 cup) of the shredded cheese.
Sprinkle the butter, bread, cheese mixture over the chicken, broccoli, and cheese mixture.
Then put the casserole dish in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
I was so intent on making the casserole, I didn’t make anything else. I think I would serve it over noodles. Or at least rice. But, as I said, I didn’t think about it. So we ended up using flour tortillas. We put the casserole in the tortilla one bite at a time. It was very good.
While some people might cringe at using canned chicken, I don’t. A long time ago my father-in-law made a yummy casserole and when he said he used canned chicken, I thought, “Well, it was damn good.” Now the brand you buy makes a big difference. We buy the Cocsto brand. Kirkland Signature™ Premium Chunk Chicken Breast. It is just big chunks of meat. We bought Swanson’s before and I think I ended up throwing it out. It was . . . . not big chunks of white meat. So I don’t trust any other kind.
I am sure that three cups of cut up cooked chicken will work. But if you want to keep it really easy . . . use two cans.
Oh, I just had a thought, I might not be able to get my husband to go along, but crusty french bread. This would be really good with crusty french bread. Yum. My hubby is not a french bread fan so I don’t usually think to serve things with bread, but this would be perfect with bread.
What do you think? Sound easy enough? What would YOU serve it with?
Posted in "Recipes", Food | Tagged: broccoli, canned chicken, chicken dinner, chunks of white meat, Costco, easy casserole, easy dinner, french bread, Kirkland Signature Premium Chunk Chicken Breast | Leave a Comment »
Posted by terrepruitt on October 3, 2016
In my post, Homemade Soapy Goodness from 2014, I talked about how I found some soap that I loved. I loved it so much I was asking for it as gifts. My hubby would say, “What do you want for Christmas/your birthday/our anniversary?” And I would reply, “Soap.” In 2015 when I went to order more soap, I could no longer find the soap lady. Her Etsy landing page is still up, but I can’t find that she makes soap any longer. I did receive some soap from a friend and I loved it so much that I started buying it. But it went from $4.00/$5.00 a bar to $8.00 a bar – not including shipping. So I decided I needed to find a new soap to use. I was just making do with some other kind I had found that was kind of drying, but it was ok. Since I am always on the hunt for some great soap, my hubby and I usually buy a bar or two from the vendors at any Art and Wine Festival we go to. Which is funny because we don’t go to many. We have been going to one – the Milpitas one – for the past two years. It also funny because the first year, I didn’t buy any. Well, this year we bought some soap from Three Angels Soap – again.
I say again because the first time we went to the festival (August 2015), I didn’t buy a bar of soap from her but my hubby did. I do remember a period of time when I kept asking my husband, “What are you using in your bathroom? Are you using a new hair product? Are you using a new soap?” And he didn’t know what I was talking about, but every time I walked into the bathroom it smelled awesome. He was using something that made the entire bathroom smell really nice.
Then after the second time we went to the Milpitas festival we both bought some soap. When I used it the whole bathroom smelled great. That is when I realized that it had to be this soap that my hubby had used and that had made his bathroom smell so great. I love this soap.
I have tried three kinds so far Memories of Rose, Purple Moon, and Lavender Swirl. They all smell GREAT! Lavender Swirl does not lather up as much as the other two. It also does not make my bathroom smell as good as the other two. I really liked Purple Moon. It lathered up great and made my bathroom smell awesome. I also really like the way it make the skin of my face look and feel. But so far my favorite is Memories of Rose. It lathers up great, makes my bathroom smell great and I love the way it moisturized my skin!
As you can see from the picture I have a few. Some of these are mine and some of them are gifts. Don’t you think the one that looks like a chunk of cake with frosting flowers on top is a nice gift? What about the cupcake? I have not even tried all the scents that I am gifting because I know they will be awesome.
The ingredients include: Olive oil, Cocoa Butter, Mango Butter, Buttermilk, Greek Yogurt, Coconut Oil, Avocado Puree, Confectionery Sugar, Goat Milk, Palm kernel oil, Aloe vera, just to name a few. (Not all of these are in one soap, I was just listing some of the ingredients in several soaps).
So . . . YAY! I found some new soap to love! I hope that you will give Three Angels Inc. a try when you want to treat yourself to some luxurious soap. Or you want to treat someone else to so luxurious soap. Give her a call or check out her website!
Do you have a favorite soap?
Posted in Misc | Tagged: Avocado Puree, Buttermilk, Cocoa Butter, coconut oil, fancy soap, gift soap, Greek yogurt, luxurious soap, Mango Butter, natural ingredients, olive oil, Three Angels Inc. | Leave a Comment »
Posted by terrepruitt on September 28, 2016
I often see people on my Facebook feed comment about how difficult it is to cut butternut squash. I just figured they didn’t have very sharp knives. I mean, it doesn’t slice easily, but it is not really difficult. It is not as hard as some other fruits and vegetables. I also always see a bunch of recipes for spaghetti squash. It could be that the fervor of it has calmed down a bit, but for a while there was a spaghetti squash recipe on my feed at least once a day. But not once did I see anything about cutting spaghetti squash being difficult. Not once did I see that as one of the main things about spaghetti squash, as I often heard in regards to butternut squash. Whew! What the heck is up with spaghetti squash? I thought I was going to break my knife. I love my knife and I would have been very upset, so I was trying to be a bit careful . . . but what is up with that??? I had to cook it for four minutes before I could BARELY break the skin. Then I had to cook it for two more to get to the middle. That stuff is TOUGH!!!
So . . . anyway . . . after all this time I finally got around to trying spaghetti squash. We liked it. It was good. I am curious if we liked it because it had ground beef on it. When I planned the dinner, I thought I had a jar of red sauce, but I didn’t. So my red sauce with meat faux spaghetti dinner did not materialize. Instead we had ground beef with garlic butter on spaghetti squash. It was good. It was really good especially the second night when I cooked it more. The first night I was — as usual – starting late and I had no idea it would take so long to cut and cook. I would have preferred to roast it in the oven, but it happened to be over 90° F that day and I didn’t want to turn on the oven. So I used the microwave.
Another thing I had not heard anyone say when making this for dinner was the challenge in shredding the squash out. I mean, it wasn’t HARD per se, but it was a challenge because the dang squash is so hot. It is tricky to hold and scrape at the same time.
Anyway, here is what I did. But, keep in mind, anything with ground beef on it, is so yummy.
Spaghetti Squash With Ground Beef and Garlic Butter
shallow casserole dish
1 spaghetti squash
lid (to the dish) or plastic wrap, wax paper
half of a medium onion, chopped
half of a pound of ground beef
two tablespoons of butter
three cloves of minced garlic
Put water in a shallow casserole dish, about halfway up the side of the dish. Then try to poke a whole or two in the squash and cook it on high (in the microwave) for six minutes. If your microwave does not have a rotating turntable, turn the dish every two minutes.
Once you can, cut the squash cut it in half – lengthwise. Take out all the squash “guts” and seeds. Place each half in the dish – cut side up. Cook in the microwave on high for six minutes with the cover on the dish, or use the plastic wrap, or wax paper.
Take the dish out and salt the cut sides of the spaghetti squash. Then cook for ten minutes with the cover on the dish, or use the plastic wrap, or wax paper. (Again, remember to turn the dish every two or three minutes if your microwave does not do that for you).
While the squash is cooking prepare your topping/sauce.
Heat up a pan with olive oil or coconut oil. Then cook the onions. Then add the half of a pound of ground beef. Add some Italian Seasoning and salt. Cook until beef is done.
In another pan, heat up two tablespoons of butter. Once melted add a few cloves of minced garlic. Cook for a few minutes.
Check the squash. It should be really soft. A fork should insert easily with no pressure required. If you think it is ready (mine was not) then take it out of the microwave. If you think it needs to cook more, sprinkle on more salt, then cook it for six to ten more minutes. Then take it out and let it cool a little.
Then use one fork to hold the squash as you use another fork to shred and scrape the flesh of the squash out.
Put the shredded squash in a dish, toss with the garlic butter. Then put the beef in the dish and toss. Serve with Parmesan cheese on top.
(Total squash cooking time: 32 minutes)
I don’t think the squash will hold up to a red sauce but my husband does, so I might try that, as that was the original plan. But, even if not, I will definitely cook it again. It was good, but it was NOTHING like spaghetti. It was sweet. It was stringy. It was good. I am thinking chicken and mushrooms . . . that sounds good to me. Also, roasted. I can’t wait to roast it!
So what are your tips on how to cook spaghetti squash? How do you shred it? What do you mix with it?