Day 5 Reflection:
How was mindful eating yesterday? Well for myself, it was my second day in Cincinnati visiting Mike and it definitely got harder to keep up with my blogging and all the challenges but I did put in the effort and even roped Mike in and gave him the option.
Sunday Dec 30th, Mike started the day by making us a wonderful breakfast. Taking time to enjoy the moment, I watched him cook up some sausage, the smell taking over the entire apartment. That savoy smell and crackle of grease as the sausage cooked was mouth watering alone. As it cooled, he whipped up eggs for each of us and I prepped the toast with avocado and he laid the eggs on each and we sat down to eat. We sat at the table in front of the TV and turned on some football. Though we were watching TV, I was able to sit back and enjoy. Cutting each bite separately, tasting each bit, looking over at a very happy football fan to my left. It's a nice way to spend the morning, with someone you love, cooking and eating together.
In reflection, I'm not exactly sure what we made for dinner that night but after investigating and talking through our day, we came to the understanding that it was left over chicken piccata!
Then that evening before our date night to go ice skating and to see the Zoo Lights, Mike again cooked for us while I worked on the next day's post. We had left over sauce from the night previous so he cooked up some chicken and angel hair pasta and added to the sauce and whipped up a delicious chicken piccata (a recipe and meal he had for the first time just the day before...) I'm not going to lie, every time I have the chance to cook for him, he seems to genuinely be thrilled about something new and he makes me feel like a pretty good cook - though in my own opinion I don't feel it quite as strongly but it makes me confident in trying new things with him and with food I already feel good about making.
Overall, mindfulness that Sunday was good and through that week was also good! We cooked lots and made sure to portion well, get our protein and veggies. Essentially each day we practiced mindfulness in different ways with our food from planning, to dates, to cooking together and eating in each other's company.
Since then, its been a rollercoaster, even if I don't actively make the decision beforehand - I always note it afterwards. The next thing I need to work on is if I lose track or thought - to not let guilt ruin the choice I made. I have a strange relationship with guilt so that is a new thing to be weary of as I take on this journey.
Day 6: Do 5 Sun Salutations
I recorded two videos for this but I'm not able to load them onto the blog itself but can be found on my instagram: @mrawls55 . The videos show Sun salutation (surya namaskar). Depending on the lineage each yogi is trained, Suyra Namaskar may vary a little. The first video I have posted is the sun salutation from my Hatha Raja lineage sequencing. If you’d like to see other variations, check out our hosts (@sierratraining and @hannahyogareiki) for their sequencing. The second video is the what many know as Sun salutation B, (suyra namaskar B).
Sun salutations are great for energizing the body and mind (especially in the morning but anytime of day will do.) By doing sun salutations, ideally making them a habit - even if only doing 5 sets everyday, you are increasing blood circulation, improving function of your lungs. digestive system, muscles and joints. With there being modifications and variations, this is an exercise anyone can do. If you are on the slower side, that is equally valid to those who are working at a faster pace. Keep the mind on the body and breath as opposed to those around you.
They help with flexibility, tone and lengthening of the muscles, but one of my personal favorite benefits of the sun salutations is the way they turn into a moving meditation once learned and set in the body. By matching breath to movement, your heart rate increases but focus on the steadiness of that breath is good for the heart, mind, and your body's function.
By making this a daily addition to your routine, if you decide to, you will feel your body adjust to it, to crave and settle through this movement (or at least this is what I have found.) As that builds, the amount you do each day may increase or vary but by doing it consistently - you begin to honor your body and mind in a new way. Without allowing ego to decide how much or little you do, you become aware of your body and what it is communicating to you. Sometimes you need to back off, other days, you may need to give yourself a little kick in the bum to keep going. The more often you do it, the more natural it will become.
We are encouraging you to try adding this to your daily life and see if you see and feel the benefits. I know I certainly do - in fact, sometimes I roll out of bed into cat/cow before doing so to get my body moving for the day! It's my GO-TO before class and rehearsal for attention, breath, stretching, and energizing!