Monthly Archives: January 2012

A Yogini’s Knitting Corner

Jan 25, 2012 // by admin // Blog, creativity, knitting, meditation // No Comments

arm warmers made with S. Charles Collezione Venus yarn

This last week, I’ve done a bunch of knitting. I finished the arm warmers for my colleague’s daughter, who was a great arm model (see the pics). I’ve spent some more time working on the baby blanket, there is still a ton to go, but it’s coming along nicely. I’ve also gotten further with my uncle’s scarf and started a pair of leg warmers for myself.

such a great arm model, don't the arm warmers look great?!

It’s been a quieter week as I haven’t finished many projects, but I keep moving along with the ones that I have in process. Here’s a sneak peak at the progress on those other projects.

still a lot more work to do on this baby blanket

 

 

 

 

 

baby pink leg warmers - in process

 

basket weave scarf for my uncle

 

I’m looking forward to finishing these in the next few weeks, so I can move forward with a few other projects on my 2012 project list. And there are more knitting creative gatherings on the horizon too, so hopefully I’ll be sharing some more of my friends’ projects too.

Do you have any projects on the horizon? What are you working on this week?

It’s tea time… again…

Jan 24, 2012 // by admin // Blog, tea // No Comments

My aunt (okay, not really my aunt, but my mother’s best friend for 50+ years, who I call my aunt) and her husband are both avid tea drinkers. For months, they have been trying to get me to try their favorite tea brand – In Pursuit of Tea. I hadn’t gotten around to ordering tea from there, but they took care of that problem by giving me some In Pursuit of Tea for Christmas. I’ve really been enjoying the teas that they gave me and thought that I would share. So, this edition of tea time features In Pursuit of Tea… Flower Craft, White Peony (Shou Mei), and Elder Flower.

Flower craft - beautiful blooming tea

Flower Craft – green tea, various Chinese flowers.

Flower craft - before it expands

I got an entire set of flowering teas for Christmas with a beautiful glass tea pot to watch the flowers bloom. I wish I had that tea pot the morning I decided to give Flower Craft a try. The tea comes in this tightly wound up ball and I didn’t really know what I was expecting. So I added hot water and as the tea pouch said, I watched the show. It was incredible. This tiny little compact bud came to life. It was gorgeous to watch, but I couldn’t watch it forever, so I finally removed the bud and took a sip of the tea. It had a great flavor and I’m happy to say that even with enjoying the show, I didn’t over steep the tea. This is a very delicate green tea, with subtle notes of the flowers that were in the package of tea leaves. It was a nice accompaniment to my breakfast the day I tried this. With only one bud left to steep though, I’ve decided I’ll save it for when I can observe it bloom in the glass tea pot. This was a very enjoyable green tea and the little caffeine kick that I needed the morning I enjoyed it.

White Peony

White Peony (Shou Mei) – white tea

As you’ve probably read before, I prefer lighter teas (not that I don’t like black teas, but white teas are almost always my preference). And this tea is a nice light and slightly flowery white tea. The package describes it as having a lingering taste of bean sprouts and hints of chocolate. I do taste those elements, the chocolate being only a very tiny hint. It’s refreshing and was definitely the caffeine kick that I needed this morning. It’s interesting to me, how this tea is so similar and yet so different from the other white peony teas that I have in my cabinet. It’s amazing to me that where a tea variety is grown has so much of an impact on the flavor. I may have to do a study all about this sometime. For now though, this tea is light, bright, and a good variation on the other white peony varieties that I have.

Elder Flower tea

Elder Flower – tiny yellow blossoms of Elderflower

Elder Flower tea

I’ve heard of elderberries before, but never of elderflowers. Elderberries are in some of my favorite natural remedies. And now that I’ve done a little reading, I’ve learned that elderflowers carry many of the same benefits. It’s suggested that these are ideal for coughs, colds, and flu, even sinusitis. And may be useful in fighting a fever. This was then probably one of the better varieties of tea to get in the winter when I’m commonly fighting off coughs, colds, and sinusitis (thank you allergies). The flowers are so tiny. If you didn’t know better, you would think that it was potpourri since the flowers are so pretty. The tea definitely doesn’t have a medicinal taste, but it also doesn’t have the same flowery taste that I get with hibiscus or rose teas. It’s harder to explain. Also, there’s no underlying natural sweetness that many of the other flowery teas tend to have. It’s a nice caffeine free herbal and as I drink it, I can feel how it can help clear my nasal passages. I’m not sure that this will be an everyday tea for me, but I definitely expect to enjoy it when I’m experiencing a cold, cough, or sinus troubles.

I’m very happy that I received these teas as a gift, sparking me to give In Pursuit of Tea a try. I look forward to searching their website to find more teas that I might enjoy to give a try. And maybe more flowering teas that are pretty to look at. In the upcoming weeks, I am excited to be able to feature the flowering teas that I received as a Christmas gift from another friend.

Have you had tea time recently? Do you have a favorite flowering tea? What tea should I try next?

Evoking change… developing a daily practice

Jan 20, 2012 // by admin // Blog, meditation, self-care, Yoga // No Comments

This last November, I was inspired to start making changes for what was left of 2011 and had begun setting my intentions for 2012. I am happy to say that as a result of that process, I have successfully been eating my veggies and fruits every day. Then in December, I committed to a 25-day Yogathon created by Teeg of Living in the (k)Now. I modified the requirements of her yogathon to fit into my life, while committing to change body, mind, and soul. My commitment was to:

- practice yoga everyday – at a minimum, 5 sun/moon salutations each day (mind)

my comfortable seat for meditation, I use a cushion too sometimes.

- develop a daily meditation practice – 5+ minutes of seated meditation each day (soul)

- eat healthier – 5 fruits/veggies each day, leveraging my November changes (body)

some of those veggies - a vegan pizza slice from Whole Food Foggy Bottom

I found that by changing my mindset of what it meant to do yoga everyday, it was a lot easier for me to commit to practicing everyday. I also found that by not requiring myself to do more than what works out to about 2 1/2 to 3 minutes of practice, that it became easier to build my home yoga practice. There were days that my body wanted more than the 5 sun salutations and I ended up practicing at home for a lot longer, sometimes 45 minutes or an hour even. There were also days where 5 sun salutations was exactly enough.

Through this “yogathon”, I also learned that I can sit and meditate without fidgeting. I would set the timer on my phone for 5 or 7 minutes the first couple days and when it would go off, I actually felt disappointed, I wanted to sit longer. So, then I increased the time 12, 15, 18 minutes and sometimes that even felt too short. I learned that I could sit, focus on my breath, and just be. It was amazing.

My preferred meditation was a Sanskrit mantra meditation, referred to as Soham or Hamsa. I would practice Soham during my yoga practice – inhale “so”, exhale “ham” (like hum), as I moved through my practice. And I applied a visual that one of my yoga teachers taught me, envision on “so” energy as a bright light moving down the spine, on “ham” see the light explode and leave the body in all directions. After I completed my practice, I would come to sit and practice the inverse – Hamsa, inhale “ham”, exhale “so”. I’d visualize the energy moving up the spine this time. In and of itself, this mantra is suggested to be the natural mantra. It is the natural sound of inhalation and exhalation. I think this is why it resonates so much with me.

These last 9 months, I had found that I was having a lot of trouble finding my practice again, after becoming a yoga teacher. I found this yogathon to be my way of coming back to my mat and my practice. And it was a nice bit of encouragement to help me develop a meditation practice. Although I do falter some days and my practice may not be exactly what’s expected, i’m learning to let that go and be happy that tomorrow is always a new day and another opportunity to come to my mat and meditation cushion.

Are there any daily practices that you have struggled with coming back to or have always wanted to develop? Are there any you “resolved” to start in 2012? What will you do to make it easier to keep them?

Another Afternoon of Art Journaling

Jan 18, 2012 // by admin // Art Journaling, Blog, creativity, self-care // 3 Comments

my workspace for this afternoon of creativity

This past weekend was another weekend full of creativity. I spent my Sunday morning knitting with the girls and then I spent my afternoon sharing in creativity and art journaling. I have to say, this weekend I didn’t do much journaling per se, but I did share in the creative energy.

me and Valerie (we've been meaning to get a pic of the two fo us for the last 6 months, so finally, we did!)

 

 

 

 

 

I met up with my some of my friends and fellow yogis – Valerie, Julie, Carol, and Rachel. And we were joined by Rachel’s friend Christina too. I spent the first couple hours we were at Teaism tearing out lots of images and phrases from magazines. I had been running low on pics and phrases, so this opportunity to collect more was exactly what I needed.

the table

a close-up of my workspace - yes, after i collected my images, I shared in the creativity by working on the baby blanket.

I had such a great time. I really enjoyed  sharing stories, getting to know these ladies even better, and being creative together. It was such a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon and a great way to spend the second third of my three-day weekend.

our collection of magazines

Have you shared creativity lately? When was the last time you enjoyed this kind of social time? Me – I’m can’t wait for my February creative gatherings and hoping to get a little creativity in every day until then.

A Yogini’s Knitting Corner

Jan 17, 2012 // by admin // Blog, creativity, knitting, meditation // No Comments

my latest finished projects - my designs (infinity scarf and wrist warmers in S. Charles Collezione Venus yarn)

These last two weeks have been quite busy and I haven’t done as much knitting as I would have liked. I did have fun completing some projects and getting together with my friends for a morning of knitting creativity again. I finished a pair of wrist warmers and my infinity scarf. I love them for indoor wear (they aren’t so warm that I can enjoy them outside).

This last weekend, I also started on what will be a really important project – my first baby blanket.

my first baby blanket (Loops & Threads Impeccable yarn in Fresh Lilac Ombre)

 

 

 

I’m excited about this latest project. It is going to be a lot of work – 40″ x 40″ when finished and it takes me 15-20 minutes per row. I’m excited to see how this continues to evolve.

My morning of knitting was a lot of fun too. Alison, Eve, Melissa, and I met up at our local coffee shop. It’s so fun that our knitting group is beginning to grow. And we all worked on one of our latest projects. I started my first baby blanket.

Alison worked on a scarf for her dad.

 

Alison also did the finishing on two projects. This is her purple cowl. Totally cute!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Melissa was working on a some yoga socks. I realize I need to try out the pattern she used.

 

 

Eve was back to her sweater. I cannot wait to see it when it's finished.

 

 

 

 

 

 

And Melissa finished the first half of the pair.

 

 

 

 

It was such a great morning/afternoon. So much fun with the girls and looking forward to our next get together. And I can’t wait to share more photos of the baby blanket and another project or two that I hope to start in the next week. Such a fun and creative morning, looking forward to having more very soon.

When was your last creative morning? When is your next?