Mental Flexibility for Focus and Peace of Mind

hawksMany of the Yoga classes I teach, are inspired by the lessons and guidance that are always being offered in the world around us. Last Monday, Memorial Day, I had the opportunity to take a day trip along the Ohio River. I was awe struck by the magnitude and multitude of hawks flying in the sky that day. I enjoyed watching them soar at such great heights, coasting on the currents of air, feeling a longing in myself for a kind of freedom like that. Then there was the realization that they weren’t soaring just for fun. It was lunch time and they too were searching for sustenance. Although their meals were likely to be found on the ground, they needed to get back, gain perspective, and find their target.

For many, meditation and the meditative aspect of Yoga, gives that feeling of gaining perspective. It’s a way to take a step back from the small details of life and gain perspective of the broader vision of our own lives. When we allow the mind to relax and expand, and when we make the intention to connect to our more essential selves, it’s easier to gain perspective and hone in on the priorities that will feed our spirits as well as our physical beings. Last week in class we explored the expanded mind experience through meditation in movement. We worked on being mentally flexible by alternating on experiencing broad perspective as well as paying attention to the small details our physical selves.

This week we’ll take the next step in our birds of prey inspired class…. recognizing our priorities and and staying steady on our path to connect with our targets. Life is full of obstacles and distractions so it is important to create a path  that will serve us well. That path will often call for endurance to keep going and to stay true. It will also often call for flexibility and maneuvering when distractions and obstacles arrive. This week we will be working on endurance in our postures, focus in our minds, and freedom in our hearts.

This week I’m loving the Native American  / Jazz / Guitar Music of R. Carlos Nakai & William Eaton on the album Ancestral Voices


Super Sunny Quick Cook Power-C Yellow Curry


I’m home with two sick kids today. This recipe is comforting, quick, easy, and full of nutrients to help the healing process!

• 1 Tb. Coconut Oil
• 1/2 tsp. Salt
• 1 cup Brown Rice – rinsed
• 2 cups of Veggie Broth or Water
• dash of Turmeric to boost the nutrients and anti-inflammatory properties of this dish

Warm coconut oil, add rice and salt – toast for a minute or two, add water or broth and bring to a boil. Once the pot reaches a boil, cover and turn down the heat – simmer for about 30 – 40 minutes until the water is absorbed.

Sunshine Curry with Carrots, Cauliflower, and Chick Peas
• 1 Tb. Coconut Oil
• 1 small Onion or large Shallot
• 1-2 cloves of garlic minced
• 1 1/2” piece of ginger grated
• 1” piece of turmeric grated – or – 1 tsp. Turmeric powder
• 2 + tsp. Yellow Curry Powder (I keep it more mild for my kids – add more if you like it spicy)
• 8 organic Carrots
(Organic carrots tend to be a little smaller than your average carrot – you can cut back to 6 carrots if you have large ones. Cut into bite size rounds or half rounds.)
• 1 small/medium head of Cauliflower – broken into small florets
• 1 can Coconut Milk
• 1 cup Vegetable Broth or Water
• 12 oz. cooked Chick Peas
• opt. Basil & Lemon to top

  1. Heat Coconut Oil in a large saute pan
  2. add Onion –  saute to soften
  3. Add Ginger, Tumeric, Garlic, and Curry Powder – stir to combine
  4. Add Carrots, Cauliflower – cook and stir to coat veggies with spice mixture
  5. Add Coconut Milk & Broth/Water
  6. When vegetables are cooked through add Chick Peas and warm through
  7. If you like top with chopped Basil and a squeeze of Lemon