Saturday, August 4, 2012

Daiya Cheese Wedges and Home Yoga Practice

I've used daiya shredded cheese quite a bit in my previous cooking adventures, so I was super excited to when the daiya wedges came available at Whole Foods.  I decided to try both the jack and cheddar flavors.

My thoughts?  It's a mixed bag.  I was thinking I'd like this unmelted on crackers or in a sandwich, but I don't particularly care for it unless it's been warmed - something about the smell and the texture.  It's definitely closer to a velveeta than a block of monterey jack or mild cheddar.  I also had trouble using my cheese plane on it.  That said, it melts extremely well, and makes for a less messy vegan grilled cheese or a vegan open face toaster cheese sandwich (like the pumpernickel one I had for breakfast this morning).   But, I think I'll stick with the shreds in the future, though I will try the "jalapeno-garlic-havarti" wedge if I do eventually see it.


If you know me well in real life, you know that I'm passionate about regular yoga practice.  I've practiced at Tranquil Space in DC for about eight years.   While my practice was sporadic in the beginning, over the past few years it's become very regular, to the point where I find my self in the studio 4-5 days a week.  I completed the level one teacher training course in 2010, and I am seriously considering the level two teaching course for this fall, which would give me a yoga alliance certification to teach (!).  My work travel schedule can make a commitment like this challenging, so I'll have to think about it over the next few weeks, but I am hoping to make it work.

So what does my yoga practice have to do with this blog?  I can tell you that I sincerely believe that regular yoga is the reason I eat a vegan diet.  Part of it is likely from learning more about ethical vegetarianism, but I think it's more than that, really.  Yoga has taught me to stop and listen to the signals my body is sending me and to honor them.  Some people describe it as "mindful eating." This Yoga Journal article describes it more eloquently than I do:

"As you continue to practice yoga, an intuitive sense of what is right for your own body will emerge . . .Just as you'd modify a favorite recipe to fit your own tastes as you prepare it repeatedly, so you can adapt a food system to support your practice." 

Without yoga, I wouldn't be eating a plant based diet, and without a plant based diet, there'd likely be no blog.  SIo, you may see more posts that include some musings on my yoga practice, like today's.

After the aforementioned breakfast of pumpernickel vegan cheese melt with a side of raspberries, I had a strong desire to do a home yoga practice.  Part of my dilemma with home practice is my tendency to criticize myself.  Am I doing this "right?"  Is this sequence "right?"  So, in addition to home practice being a practice of asana for me, it's also a practice of self-compassion.  Today, I just got on the mat, cranked up my playlist, and went for it. I didn't plan what I was going to work on in advance, and the only thing I made sure to keep track of was that I was giving the same amount of attention to both sides of my body.

And, boy, did I have fun, and worked up a good sweat!  My favorite moment was doing a transition from half moon to reverse half moon - wild!

What really makes home practice click for me is a carefully curated playlist.  Similar to the playlists at the studio, I run mine for about 75 minutes in a "bell curve" - slower, mellower songs in the beginning, with more energetic songs in the middle, and then mellowing out again at the end.  At home, I do tend to practice to some louder and crazier songs than I hear in the studio.

I'm particularly pleased with the playlist I used for today's practice, so I thought I'd share that with you all for your home listening pleasure, and perhaps your own home yoga practice!

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