Whenever I come back, I wonder why I stayed away so long...

My home yoga studio (aka, a corner of my living room)

Veggies: Life is pretty delicious right now, thanks to becoming a full-time recipe tester for the next few months. Some interesting tastes from the past few weeks include sweet potato-apple-chipotle soup, roasted radishes with blue cheese and pistachios, and pumpkin cashew cheese pasta with black beans and spinach.

Wine: Without a steady income for the next few months, I've turned to Bota Box for my wine fix. This too shall pass ... right?

Since my cooking adventure in North Carolina this past April, I've been putting most of my energy into  creating a new career for myself. As Kitchen 452 has been playing a front-and-center role this summer and fall, other creative activities (blogging, practicing yoga, gardening, sewing) have been almost completely ignored. I've never quite figured out how to balance my life; it usually ends up being incredibly lopsided, for better or for worse.

Before I left my full time job in August, I spent some time thinking about how I wanted to begin my less-structured days (less structured until the restaurant opens, that is).  I envisioned practicing yoga and meditating for at least an hour every day, followed by taking a long walk through the neighborhood with Rusty and enjoying a fresh juice or smoothie. And then I'd get to work with my business partner on all sorts of amazingly creative and exciting plans. You can probably imagine that my vision didn't quite make its way into reality, but I've done each of those things at least once in the past month. Partial win?

I'm not so surprised that practicing yoga has been the biggest challenge for me to incorporate into my new routine. Although I have never, ever stepped off my yoga mat and been sorry I'd spent time there, I  meet all kinds of resistance whenever I think about practicing, especially when my mind is scattered and I need it the most. On Saturday, it took me three tries to actually stay on my mat for more than a minute. I'd start my music, take a seat, close my eyes ... and then convince myself that I really needed to check the mail. And wash the dishes. And see if it's supposed to rain. But once I came back that fourth time and made the choice to stay, I was so very grateful. My home practice is where I can set an intention, focus, laugh at myself, dance, heal, forgive, feel powerful, feel vulnerable, cry, breathe, relax ... and that's what happened over the course of 60 minutes on my mat. Yoga was just what I needed, and pretty much always what I need. Fortunately, yoga welcomes me back, no matter how long I've been away.

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I'm a huge fan of practicing yoga to a not-so-traditional soundtrack. Here's Saturday's playlist, one of my favorites for feeling alive:

Chord Sounds :: Moby
1 2 3 4 :: Feist
I Just Want to Celebrate (Mocean Worker Remix) :: Rare Earth
Shining Star :: Earth Wind & Fire
Everybody Got Their Something :: Nikka Costa
Let Go :: Frou Frou
Thank U :: Alanis Morissette
32 Flavors :: Ani DiFranco
Be Here Now :: Mason Jennings
Nearer :: Moby
Breathe Me :: Sia
Calling All Angels :: Jane Siberry
Aerial :: Moby


  1. Hi Jen! I feel the same way you do sometimes! But you're right - I never regret it afterward (now if only I can remember that). It's just a challenge to actually get started when my mind is racing to so many different places. But as they say... it IS a practice after all. I find that not having a predetermined goal in mind (at least while I'm on the mat) has helped me. I just do what I feel like doing, and I feel less resistance that way somehow...

    I still play your playlist from our teacher training by the way! Oh, and I wanted to tell you that A. has a favorite song from that playlist - he asks for it all the time!

    Happy to read your writing on your blog again... it's always refreshing to read.

    1. I'm so glad you and Amit enjoy the playlist! I still listen to everyone's playlists from the YTT and feel so connected, despite the years that have passed. That's a great perspective to take about the word "practice" ... we're all still trying to figure it out, but the best way to do so is to just do it!


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