Jaiba & Nopales Ceviche Salad.   A Mexican Vegan Southern California Delight. Groove is the heart. 

What to have for dinner tonight?

Jaiba and Nopales. Imitation crab meat and Mexican cactus Ceviche.  Well that title is a mouthful I hope it makes sense. If. Not let me explain. 

If you live in L.A. or any place with a  “Latino” community you can most likely stop by the “carniceria” the “la tiendita ” or “bodega” depending on where you live, (I bet there’s one somewhere google it ) and grab some nopales aka cactus plants, that have already been cleaned and depricked, ( is that a word?). Perhaps your local whole foods or farmed market also carries them. But again I’m coming tough from the chippie capital of the world. This recipe is comfort food for that reason I’m leaving the guilt part out.  On hot summer days it was something we ate  growing up, reminds me of those California Sunsets.  

You’ll notice the recipes have the same ingredients this is intentional so that you can prep all the ingredients once a week, making all this easier and doable.  

You’ll need the following.

1/2 lb of imitation crab ( make sure it’s vegan but I bet it has a million calories. I’m afraid to look. You can if you want.)

5 small nopales cut into squares  ( cactus)

1 onion diced

4 small tomatoes diced 

1 bunch of cilantro 

4 limes. Juicy. 

1 large jalapeño. Ah come on try it. 

Sea Salt. 

  

So make sure you get the imitation crab meat, there is another type that is fish protein, and basically it’s a bunch of ground fish. So cuidado. 

Pull the imitation crab meat into pieces. 

Add the chopped tomatoes 

And the onions

And tomatoes 

And cilantro 

And limes

Sprinkle the salt

Mix and mix 

Then add the nopalitos.

And mix it all together. 

Nopales cut.

Enjoy. If you’re not afraid of calories put it on a tostada with some veganse. And pow mami. You got yourself a California dinner. 

Jaiba and Nopalito Ceviche

Cali Cauliflower. 

This recipe seems like it has so many ingredients. That’s because it does. –As always I like to remind you to invite yourself to prep once a week on Sunday or something and then you have everything handy. –But its good, so don’t let the amount of goodies and prep keep you from trying this because it’s so delicious and nutritious.  

1 Cauliflower 

2 Jalapeños

2 Tomatos

1 Basket of mushrooms

Marinaded Artichokes ( I get them at Trader Joes. Hey listen you can get which ever you want :)

Powder Turmeric 

Smoked Paprika 

 Wash The cauliflower the jalapenos and the tomatoes.  Slice the tomatoes and also slice the jalapeños. Careful with touching your skin. Jalapeños burn. Wash the seeds away. 

Cut the cauliflower. To do this simply cut the florets at the base turning the cauliflower around. 

    Pour the marinated artichoke juice and add a little pepper and powdered turmeric. 

    Heat pan add a little coconut oil and add the florets and allow them to brown a little.  Add the rest of the ingredients, Lower the heat, add a little water, cover and allow to simmer on low. 

I didn’t take a picture of the finish product becaus I ate it all. :) 

Urdhva Vrikshasana: Upward Tree Position

The second in the series THINK CLASS IS TOO EASY?

First pose in the Sun Salutation A :Urdhva Vrikshasana
Let’s break it down beloved.
Here is the translation.
Urdhva (ऊर्ध्व, Ūrdhva) = up, upwards
Vriksha (वृक्ष, Vṛkṣa) = Tree, especially with visible Blossoms or Fruits
Asana (आसन, Āsana) = Position, Posture, Pose

And here is a demonstration of the pose.

Yeah girl  that’s the first pose in Urdhva Vrikshasana. That yogi in that video has demonstrated the possibility of this pose We may get there we may not but where ever we are surrender to the truth that no class is ever too easy.

So let’s investigate the pose a little bit more : On an inhale arms lift up. The breath is long and deep and controlled it enters through the nose and it swirls around the thought before it enter the lungs,  then allowing the  breath to drop to the bottom of the belly just below the navel the ribs lift and the lungs expand, the bandas are locked and the residual tension is released with every exhale. The Drishti or gaze is to the middle of the thumb.

So here it is. Reason number 2 class could never be to easy.

Think Yoga Class Is Too Easy? Quit Thinking and Start Doing.

“After a year in a ‘beginner’ class, both my teacher and I felt I had ‘advanced’ enough I should be in an ‘advanced’ class — but there was no such class nearby, at a time I could attend. So I kept going to the beginner class for another three years, always feeling that it was ‘too easy’ for me. Sometime during that third year, I realized how much the “beginner” class was doing for me. I continued to grow in strength and flexibility, and began to understand the deeper aspects a bit…

Years later I learned to understand that ‘advanced’ poses don’t need to be taught at all; it is in the most basic poses that the strength, balance, flexibility and confidence is built; only in the basic poses can the habitual movement patterns that interfere with the ability to do ‘advanced’ poses be addressed. When this is achieved, the ‘advanced’ poses come on their own. And in the meantime, we also learn lessons in purity, contentment, discipline, self-knowledge, and surrender. ” SHRLZI

Can a yoga class be too easy?

Krishnamacharya was an Indian guru who practiced and taught with the men that would eventually shape Yoga here in the West. Each of these men all brought something special to the practice, each one of them had their own  strength or  focus. Iyengar, Jois and Desikachar  and  all tough they were all mentored by the same Guru ( I mean really hello Desikachar was Krishnamacharyas son) they each controlled their own intensity by where they placed  their awareness, focus and intent.  Iyengar’s awareness was  alignment, P Jois was flow and constant movement, Desikachar was all about the breath.

What do we mean by yoga, in this article when I say yoga we mean  asana (limb) practice.

What we mean by class we mean a lead asana practice, typically done  an hour which consists of sequence of poses or asanas which are held for a period of time.

So the question is can asana practice be too easy?  In my opinion it’s impossible to have an easy asana practice. Let me tell you why and how you will never feel like you had an easy class again: In Asana practice you control your own intensity, you light your internal  fire as much as you need.  I will say it again in this practice you control your own intensity.  

“Connect the subtle self, to the physical being though the avenue of breath. Not just to challenge our breathing ability but our ability to relate to the world. Without focus or intent you’re just monkeying around.”

Most practice or “classes” will start with Surya Namascara A These are 9 postures also know as a sequence –  To make this an asana practice we must add the breath, (you’re not doing Yoga until you add the breath)  The breath becomes the oxygen that activates your pelvic core. Activating the bandas or root lock and your ujjayi breath will create an internal heat, like a fever that cleanses the nervous system and becomes a gage of where you are in your practice. The first lock is Mula Banda it is at the base of the spine the seat of Mula Banda  The Peranium Muscles, it is in front of the anus behind the genitals.  The Mula Banda requires you to lift those muscles and draw the energy up.

Perinial Muscles.

How to get in touch with your Perinium Muscles:  Start by engaging the PUBOCOCCYGEUS MUSCLES Imagine you need to use toilette and there is not one around, then back off the anus, with practice you will be able to isolate the muscles. Explore that for a few breaths, even if your sitting at your desk or in line some.   Some of you may know this as Kegel exercises.

Second Lock: Two inches below the navel. Inhale the area is drawn back. Imagine a thread tied to the front of the belly and then pulling it back and wrapping it around your spin. so that the abdomen is pulls in ,then you inhale lifting the lungs and the ribs on the exhale maintain the stillness, do not over contract, do not panic do not constrict.

Uddiyana Bandha practice this essential practice and never have an "easy" practice ever again.

Uddiyana Bandha practice this essential practice and never have an “easy” practice ever again.

Now put those two locks together and add your breath. This will create a heat. This is the internal heat that we are seeking as it will create a fever that will burns toxins and impurities, it melts the muscles and  brings muscles into a maliable state and cleanses the nervous system. Yes, boo all this and we are not even into the first pose.  So practice these 2 locks  and 1 breath

Mula Banhda • Uddiyana Bandha • Ujjayi Breath•

Tomorrow we continue with URDHVA VRIKSHASANA and how to make it so you never have an “easy”  or “hard” class.

SOMETHING TO CONSIDER: In the spirit of choices and different schools of thought, here is Mel Robbins in her TEDxSF talk HOW TO STOP SCREWING YOURSELF OVER. Somehow there is a connection.  -XOV

Mel Robbins.
This week:

  • Urdhva Vrikshasana
  • Uttanasana A
  • Uttanasana B
  • Chaturanga Dandasana
  • Urdhva Mukha Shvanasana
  • Adho Mukha Shavasana
  • Uttanasana B
  • Urdhva Vrikshasana
  • Samasthitih

UJJAYI BREATH. The Main Focal Point in Our Practice.

“…Not just a physical ability but an ability to relate to world around us and to discover the world within us…”-David Swenson

This video by David Swenson is very informative. I have highlighted some of the points in this video and also put my two cents in.
Pronounced OOH JAH E. Ujjayi is basically the breath practice in Ashtanga, Power Yoga, Hot Yoga which is a mix of what I currently teach. It is my hope that I can excite you and guide you to and  through your breath, the  following is how I have come to understand it.

In my classes I find that the rooms are really quiet. Meaning no one is breathing. When I lead the practice I repeat myself over and over and over again almost begging but no one starts breathing. In other classes I have discovered that most teachers have simply given up on the breathing all together.  I suspect the main reason students aren’t practicing ujjayi breath during asana practice may be because they are not yet comfortable with the sound of the breath.

What separates yoga from gymnastics or an aerobics class is the breath.  We call it UJJAYI BREATHING

  • What is UJJAYI BREATH?
  •  Ujjayi means sound breathing.
  • The breath is  long, deep, controlled,
  •  It is an audible breath, sounds like the Ocean.
  •  practiced  with focus  intent and ahimsa.
  • Allow the air to swirl around your throat before it enters the lungs
  • The breath is the  purpose of the entire practice
  • It may appear to be a practice that requires much physical ability, but that is simply not true. It’s really the practice of bringing awareness of the physical mind to the emotional being and then challenging you to do your very best in both psychical and emotional self.
  • Use the Bandahs: Mula Bandha, Uddiyana Bandha these will create a deep heat that serves as a fever which cleanses the *nervous system.

Mūla Bandha (मूल बंध) compound term: Mūla    Mula means Root Lock and Banha means “catching a hold of”.

The Peranium Muscles are in front of the anus behind the genitals.  It’s the lifting of the muscle and drawing the energy up.

Uddiyana bandha Sanskrit: उड्डीयन बन्ध, Uḍḍīyana Bandha