Thursday, October 27, 2016

Make America Cake Again

Hey friends.

So I've got a Really Serious question for you.

But first: a little backstory.

Some of you who've been around for awhile know that back in the day — waaaay back, like 2008, before the advent of any small children or Twitter or the yoga industrial complex, when all I used to do was roam SF's used bookstores and do yoga and shake cocktails and go to the opera — I used to bake. A lot.

In fact, that half-assed, booze-heavy, frosting-driven practice turned into my first Yoga Journal article. Even though I wasn't particularly good at it, and many of the recipes relied shamelessly heavily on cake mixes and Jell-O pudding.

(What can I say? I'm a lazy baker. Only in it for the sugar.)

Anyway, my girl Toni sent me this recent NPR article about election cakes and it got me all fired up to turn on the oven before November 8th. (Did you see it? If not: it's called "A History of Election Cake and Why Bakers Want to #MakeAmericaCakeAgain." Skim it for more, though the title pretty much says it all.)

Got me reminiscing about the Black Russian cake we made as a nod to Sarah Palin's doofus statement about seeing Russia from her house. And the Blueberry Cream cake we made for Election Day 2008, to usher in a much-needed new Obama era (and to celebrate Jinny's birthday on the same night).

So I'm feeling inspired to whip out the dusty bundt pans and make a 2016 version. I mean, it's only patriotic, right? (Though this year's will definitely be more on the vegan and gluten-free side of things.)

But what recipes am I supposed to use? Help me out, hivemind.

For Donald: Something orange? Grand Marnier? Definitely something highly processed and nutritionally questionable. Nutty? Boozy? How do you make a racist narcissistic sexual predator cake?

For Hillary: I could go the blue route again (for Democrats), like we did with Obama's, but surely there's gotta be something more appropriate as a nod to the first woman President, right? Help me out.

So open the floodgates. Send me your Election Cake recipe suggestions. We've got two weeks to bake some stellar bundts. Healthy or no. Edible or no. Bonus points for booze.

Though the frosting is still pretty much all I care about.

(Oh, and flipping the Senate, too.)

Monday, October 24, 2016

Done. Your turn.

So I just voted for a lady president and a lady governor. The 18-year-old Gender Studies major in me has her fist in the air. #ivoted #imwithher🇺🇸 #election2016

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

What To Do When You're Teaching In 15 Minutes & You've Got Nothing To Give

New article is up! Teachers, this one's for you. Thanks to Yoga Trade for publishing.

What To Do When You're Teaching In 15 Minutes 
& You've Got Nothing To Give

Teachers, does this sound familiar?

You’re drained, running on empty, burning the candle at both ends. You’ve taught 12 classes already this week, and with four to go, you wonder what you have left to give anyone.

You haven’t gotten much sleep. You’ve not eaten all day and you’re super low-blood-sugar. Or maybe you’re just feeling kind of quiet and blue; your dog just went in for surgery to remove a lump, or your grandmother is ailing, or you just found out you didn’t get that job (or that date) you really, really wanted.

Whatever the case — your gas tank is empty, and you’re feeling decidedly short on the kind of chutzpah required to power through being an inspiring yoga-guru for the next 90 minutes. How are you supposed to emcee a dance party when you’d rather curl up under the covers and hibernate?

I’ve been mentoring a few [awesome] teachers lately as they study for their 500hr certifications, and this is one of the topics that has repeatedly come up. Most of us wellness professionals can relate to this, yeah? If you teach long enough, you’ll surely experience burnout at some point. It’s the nature of the biz. (And the nature of being human, to be honest.)

For newer teachers especially, who are often hustling from location to location teaching 10-15 classes a week, it’s not an option to cut back to a more reasonable number. Add in urbanity, commuting, and a high cost of living, and you need to keep teaching a robust regular schedule to afford to pay your rent and eat a decent meal now and then, too. The luxury of cutting back to just a few inspired classes a week is one that’s often only available to established teachers with large followings, or folks with another full-time job that takes the financial pressure off yoga teaching.

Wellness professionals — whether yoga teachers, Pilates teachers, massage therapists, acupuncturists, you name it — well, we give a lot. The very nature of our craft is that you put yourself out there, physically AND emotionally. You can’t just hide in a cubicle with your headphones on and fritter the workday away online waiting for the clock to hit 5pm so you can escape to your sofa. You need to show up, in every way — whether you’re feeling en fuego or exhausted.

The upside for those of us who really love teaching is that so much comes back to us, too. How lucky are we to do the kind of work that makes us feel MORE alive when we finish? Many times over the years I’ve walked into a class feeling kind of neutral (shall we say sattvic, or quietly balanced, to keep it Ayurvedic?), and walked out feeling buzzingly-alive, connected, inspired. How cool is it that we get to do that kind of work? It really is a blessing.
Here are a few things to remember on the days when you might struggle for inspiration:

Read the rest here.

World Mental Health Day

Yesterday was World Mental Health Day.

Mamas: new motherhood can be cray. Trust yourselves. Be gentle.

Hungry Ghost Season

How are your Hungry Ghosts treating you? What insatiable craving is driving you these days?

It's the perfect time of year to say hello to your own ghosts. This is an old favorite of mine, written in the greys of October in SF a few years back.

"Can you be brave enough to glimpse your own Hungry Ghost in the mirror, and, rather than running away from her, or numbing her out, or shutting her down, give her a loving nod, maybe a wink, maybe a curious tilt of the head, seeing her for what she is, and thanking her for the inadvertent teaching she's wrought in your life?"

Read the whole piece here.