The Healing Practice of Pratipaksha Bhavanam

Our thoughts have the power to transform our reality.

Vitarka badhane pratipaksha bhavanam – Respond to negative thoughts and patterns by thinking and doing the opposite.

If you’ve followed Tasty Yummies for sometime, you are aware that my yoga practice has played a very integral role in my healing and my health, along with my journey toward self-love and self-confidence. I jokingly say that yoga is the gateway drug that came into my life, rocked me and changed me forever – the “drug” that got me on the path to healing. But in full honesty it truly was the stepping stone that brought me to a place where I could finally prioritize my health and from a totally non-ego centered approach, it allowed me to place ME and my happiness above all else. Yoga was the first introduction I had to learning to love and celebrate my body, to trusting myself and most importantly, to knowing that I was actually worthy of being happy, vibrant and well.

It was sometime in 2006 that I first stepped onto my yoga mat, and while I didn’t know this at that time, it was that first unrolling of my mat that fully changed the trajectory of my life moving forward. It was the first time that I made a choice to prioritize my self-care above all else, to give myself permission to fully love myself and to trust that what lied ahead, while intensely challenging, would make for a better version of me.

My yoga practice has evolved greatly over the years. From a daily, rigid, before dawn, self-led mysore practice, to group ashtanga practice, to sweaty vinyasa classes anywhere and everywhere I could take them in, from coast to coast. A few years ago my personal practice eventually reached a place that I was yearning for more and it was then that I received my 200-hour and then 500-hour certification to teach, which I used to host retreats and teach regular classes, publicly and privately. These days, my personal yoga practice is much more private and intimate, with a far less stringent, regimented approach.

While I don’t have a scheduled 90 minute practice daily anymore, yoga still seeps into every single one of my days, even if just by way of the philosophies and methodologies inspiring my approach to daily living. Often it’s the practice of conscious breath work in a stressful moment, or quite literally physical stretches prior to or just after lifting heavy weights or having a rigorous workout of some kind. Some days I make my way to the beach to flow. Often I don’t. I find myself, most days, without consciousness, creating a symphony of breath and movement when I need it most or finding that beautiful balance between effort and steadiness in all aspects of my living. There may not be any greater constant in my life than the practices I have cultivated through yoga.

Throughout my yoga teacher training in 2014, I had a great many lightbulb moments. Literally open mouth “Aha!” moments. Realizations not just in what my body and mind were capable of, but rather in recognizing the control that I had unknowingly harnessed through my practice over the years up to that point. The control of creating my own happiness on the mat and in my life. There were beautiful practices that I had cultivated, unconsciously, which greatly contributed to changing me and much of it finally had explanation with these teachings. I could finally put words and thoughts to them and almost tangibly hold them in my hands so that I could study, cultivate, practice and share them with others.

Studying the yoga sutras and more specifically, Pratipaksha Bhavanam, were probably the most eye-opening aspects of my teacher training and to this day, despite my practice and my teaching career having changed drastically than what I ever could have imagined, they continue to provide daily practices and inspiration for a better life.

The Healing Practice of Pratipaksha Bhavanam

Yoga at 8,839 feet?

It was at the very top of Half Dome mountain on a trip to Yosemite last week, at the end of the most intense and rigorous hike (and experience) of my life, after facing my biggest fears and heading head on into place of great discomfort – that I had a great moment of true revelation! It was on top of that mountain, while sobbing in pure pride for what I had just accomplished, that I had the great realization that it was my yoga and the practice of Pratipaksha Bhavanam that got me through and to the top of that mountain that day! Both literally in the actual hike to the peak, but also the years of healing and transformation that led me to even being able to take that journey to be there, in the first place.

In every moment of self-doubt on the journey that day, in every intense thought of great fear, in every question of “But, what if I fall?” I had the unconscious ability to tap into this important practice and change both the dialogue and the outcome. I wouldn’t allow it to continue, I honored it in the moment, I expressed gratitude for it’s teachings and it’s purpose, then I shut that shit down and then literally heard the words – “Oh, my darling, but what if you fly?” (Erin Hanson)

 
[click to continue…]

{ 4 comments }

Green Tahini Sauce {+ Video}

by Beth @ Tasty Yummies

Green Tahini Sauce

Green Tahini Sauce

Tahini is my life blood. If you aren’t yet aware of what tahini is, it is a condiment made from toasted ground hulled sesame seeds, with a consistency similar to other nut butters. It has come to be one of my most coveted pantry staples. I almost always have a homemade tahini dressing or sauce of some sort, on hand, if not two. My garlic tahini, or some variation on it, is mainstay in my kitchen weekly.

Recently with all the fresh, local herbs in season I have been veering off and getting a bit more creative with my tahini sauce. This vibrant, herby, Green Tahini Sauce is so versatile. It’s wonderful simply as a dip for crudités, grain-free crackers or chips. It makes am amazing creamy, salad dressing for a traditional green salad, or better yet the perfect way to dress up a summer potato salad. It’s a lovely compliment to grain and veggie bowls or simply just steamed, roasted or sautéed vegetables of any and all kinds. It is also great in place of mayo on sandwiches. This Green Tahini is also a wonderful sauce for seafood, chicken and pork, especially when grilled or roasted.

[click to continue…]

{ 6 comments }

This Chilled Zucchini Basil Soup with Lemon Garlic Cream is a summertime dream dish. Great as a starter or add your favorite protein for a perfect, super quick one-bowl meal. 

Chilled Zucchini Basil Soup with Lemon Garlic Cream

Chilled Zucchini Basil Soup with Lemon Garlic Cream

Well, it’s that time again. Zucchini season. The abundance of my favorite veggie at the grocery, farmers markets and home gardens everywhere, means a new year to get creative and find new ways to cook up this tasty little green squash.

Chilled Zucchini Basil Soup with Lemon Garlic Cream

I personally find zucchini to be incredibly versatile, stepping in as noodles like spaghetti or fettucini or even rice noodles in Pad Thai. It works well in desserts like cookies or muffins, it makes amazing savory fritters, shoot it’s even amazing in smoothies.

I really enjoy pureeing raw or slightly cooked zucchini, as it brings a really hearty creaminess without the need for dairy, dairy alternatives or nuts.

[click to continue…]

{ 1 comment }

With summer upon us frozen treats are a must, but no need to wreck your body in the process. These Grain-free Chocolate Chip Cookie Banana Ice Cream Sandwiches feature my popular almond butter chocolate chip cookies and a banana soft serve filling. Made without dairy or grains and they are low in sugar. 

Grain-free Chocolate Chip Cookie Banana Ice Cream Sandwiches

Grain-free Chocolate Chip Cookie Banana Ice Cream Sandwiches

[This is an updated post from 2013.]

It’s truly been years since I have had an old school ice cream sandwich, ya know the ones, soft chocolate cookies, vanilla ice cream filling. While working an event a few years back, I came across a food truck that specialized in just ice cream sandwiches and they actually had a gluten-free and dairy-free option for someone like me. YAY! It was delicious and messy but probably loaded with sugar and lots of other stuff I prefer not to eat. It immediately got the gears turning in my head. I wanted to make a more healthful ice cream sandwich myself and I of course just needed to find the time to actually play with some recipe ideas.

I know we have all seen the one or two ingredient banana ice cream that has been making it’s rounds all over the internet for the last few years. If you haven’t tried it yet, you must. Stop what you are doing right now, put those bananas in the freezer and make some yummy dairy-free ice cream alternative. It is simple to make and sooo surprisingly creamy and delicious. I realized it would make the perfect ice cream sandwich filling since it is creamy, simple to make and literally has nothing more than bananas in it. A great compliment to some grain-free, dairy-free cookies!

Grain-free Chocolate Chip Cookie Banana Ice Cream Sandwiches
[click to continue…]

{ 23 comments }