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Harvest Chard

harvest chardA little bit sweet, sour, and spicy. Rainbow Chard is one of my favorite vegetables because of it’s dual nature with the crunchy stems and leafy greens. One vegetable seems to take on the life a full salad. Chard is dressed up with fortifying fall flavors in this quick-fix warm salad. Because the chard leaves cook down so much, this recipe should be doubled if serving more than one. This recipe makes enough for a main dish salad with a little leftover for later.

Ingredients

  • 1 Tb. oil – I’m using Walnut Oil for this recipe but anything will do
  • 1 small Shallot – small dice
  • 1 bunch of Rainbow (or other variety) Chard  – strip leaves from stems, chop stems and leaves separately
  • 1 small Apple diced – reserve a few Tb. of chopped apple to top salad
  • a handful of Golden Raisins
  • Mix together — 1 Tb. Apple Cider Vinegar, 1 Tb. Water, 1 tsp. Dijion Mustard, pinch of salt, pinch of Chili Powder
  • Handful of chopped Walnuts

Preparation

  1. Saute shallot in oil, and when softened a bit, add the Chard Stems, 3/4 of the Apple bits, and Raisins over med/high heat
  2. Cook for about 8 – 10 minutes until Chard Stems and Raisins have softened slightly
  3. Add Chard Leaves and Cider cooking water to steam the leaves – cook just until tender – only a couple of minutes
  4. Top warm salad with remaining apple pieces and chopped walnuts

Enjoy and Namaste ~Kate

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2015 Harvest Moon Eclipse

I stayed up late to watch and meditate on the moon magic happening in the sky last night. Read on below the slide show if you’re interested in a few of my contemplations. Otherwise, just enjoy the show;-)

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The first of my two big insights last night related to how it seemed as if I was watching a whole month of a moon cycle happen in two hours. As many traditions encourage connecting intentions & wishes with the cycles of the moon, I decided to do a little intention setting for some things I’d like to see happen a little quicker than the casual route. The other insight goes along the lines of understanding that our perception of the world is made of light and shadow. When the light is shining bright we sometimes miss the more subtle details of things. You can see in the pictures when the light is so bright we miss a lot of really beautiful detail. The eclipse can be a time to let ourselves go into our dark corners in order to understand what’s happening deeper beneath the surface of our lives. There is great beauty even in the dark corners of life for those who have the courage to open their minds to that perspective. Shine Yoga’s Meditation Monday is to open your heart to your own dark shadows and those of others. It is only in cultivating acceptance that we can create harmony between life’s complementary opposites.

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Meditation Monday – Sankalpa Mudra + Clear Mind / Open Heart Meditation

San Kalpa Mudra
Sankalpa Mudra in Gomukhasana Variation.

I’ve been working through a series on meditation techniques for my yoga studio blog @ shineyoga.com. I’ve been working through a few mudras (hand gestures) that add significance to meditation practices. This week I decided to showcase Sankalpa Mudra. This was the first mudra to really pique my interest in that I felt the hand placement create a dramatic shift in my awareness. I first practiced this mudra with my teacher, Sianna Sherman, in my second level teacher training more than 15 years ago. I believe that it was passed on to her by our philosophy teacher, Douglas Brooks, and may have it’s roots in Tantric Philosophy. As usual, I am not too particular about the physical roots of things because I believe they all come from the same spiritual space. I believe it’s up to us to explore the unique practices of yoga, honor to the best of our ability the teachers who practiced and evolved the techniques, and ultimately to fine tune the practices to meet our individual needs.

Sankalpa means resolve. It’s an amped up version of intention setting. When practicing sankalpa the idea is to connect to your most essential self in order to realize what it is you most need and want to manifest in your experience of life. This practice asks you to sit quietly in order to connect deep within. With awareness of your highest aim, you cross your right arm over your heart, bringing the right hand to rest in the left. Sankalpa is a gesture of remembrance and of resolve. It is a seal of intent. An empowering aspect of a life in alignment, is that we each get to decide how we  will show up to greet each day.

If you feel disconnected from your heart’s deepest intentions, you might choose to do this heart clearing meditation/mudra practice before setting a clear intention with the Sankalpa Mudra. Today’s heart clearing practice uses a non-traditional kriya (repetitive body/energy flow). Hold your hands in front of your heart with Ganesha Mudra (click here for more details). Take a moment to hold in your mind all (or some;-) of the blocks that prevent you from feeling free and clear in your inner vision. Maybe you are angry, or afraid. Maybe you’ve been hurt or feel stuck. Allow yourself a moment to hold your blocks with as much acceptance and even love and you can. Take a deep breath in and then with your exhale stretch your arms out wide. Envision letting go of all the energy that blocks your heart and mind at this time. Imagine a great internal clearing. While we can not change all of our outer circumstances we can release the energy that shuts us down. Breathe in with courage to stand true in your life at this time. As you begin to feel more calm and clear, set the seal for the energy that you want to hold and give back to life with Sankalpa Mudra. Namaste ~ Kate