Clear Eyes, Full Hearts…

I just started watching Friday Night Lights on Netflix. I realize I’m way behind on this one, but I can’t stop watching the show. I can easily watch three episodes in one sitting when I have the time.

Where I grew up, you were either for Auburn or Alabama, and if you didn’t care, like I didn’t, there was something wrong with you. Eventually, when I was in high school, and started going to the games, I began to get a little interested in sports.  I never understood why people got so excited about a game they weren’t actually playing, though.  Friday Night Lights sort of helped me understand that. I’m a fan of the Dillon Panthers, which is a fictional team. I want them to do well. But it’s not for the reasons that most sports fans probably care about their favorite teams.

I’m moved every time I watch an episode. I’ve really grown to care for the characters as if they are real. Some of them annoy me, some of them charm me, but I really want good things to happen for them. A lot of it has to do with the writing, and the excellent acting on the show. Without exception, the performances are spot-on.

If you haven’t seen it, you should really watch it. It’s amazing.

What does any of this have to do with yoga? I find it quite relevant, if you’ll bear with me for a moment.

The guys on the team are really there for each other. The encouragement and support the players show for their team-mates is really inspiring.  It made me think.  What would it be like if students in a yoga class were like that? If we went out on a limb for each other, and encouraged each other? If we took the time to get to know each other a little bit, and to  really create a community? I used to see that in the classes I took in New York about 10 years ago. It’s different now. Yoga isn’t what it was then, which is both positive and negative in many ways.

I am working to bring a sense of fun, a sense of community and a team spirit to my classes. I would love for you to come and be a part of my fun little group of Friday Night yogis. We laugh, we chat, and we practice together in a little room, and we learn from each other. It’s a small group of lovely people, and there is definitely room for you in the class. I’d love to see you there tonight.

The second thing I am always moved by on Friday Night Lights is the motto of the team: Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can’t Lose. It speaks to me. And it speaks truth. If we are open, if we see the world through clear eyes….we are in a minority. To me, this means looking at things, and seeing them as they are, and not judging them so much as accepting them. To look towards acceptance is challenging, because sometimes it is very easy to be in the heat of the moment. It’s easy to react. It’s always easy to tell yourself “My boyfriend just said something shitty to me, and I hate him. The relationship is over.” That’s easy. But is that seeing the incident with clear eyes? Or is it reacting in the heat of the moment? Yes, it sucks when people say things that hurt your feelings. And if someone is abusive, that’s one thing. But an off the cuff remark might have been said when your partner’s eyes weren’t clear. Maybe they were reacting to something else. Yoga teaches us to absorb first. To breathe in, and then process before we react. To react with clear eyes, from the place of the witness, rather than to fly off the handle. So the next time someone says something you don’t like, take a breath. Look at the situation with the clear sight that reflection affords you, and then say what you need to say.

Full hearts. What fills your heart? What makes you passionate? What gives you joy? Are you doing those things? Are you connected to people, to books, to places that inspire you? Do you make a point of listening to your favorite music? Do you like to cook? If you do, when was the last time you bought yourself a great cookbook, and tried out one of the dishes? Do you like art? If so, when did you spend a rainy Saturday wandering around a museum, soaking in the inspiration of the Impressionist wing at the Met, for example? When we live in a place of inspiration, we are fired up, ready to do something, to create, to teach, to inspire others. Looking for love? Are you treating yourself well, and making yourself a priority? The best way to find love is to enjoy your life as it is! Do things that make you happy. That full heart makes your light shine brighter. Go out and get something out of your life!

Then you can’t lose.

Namaste, y’all.


Delicious, Nutritious Brunch In 15 Minutes!

I love brunch! Not only do you get to have a cocktail for breakfast if you want, but you get to load up on yummy fatty foods. I’m not your typical yogi–I don’t like sprout, pumpkin, sesame trail mix, and will never tell you that I’d rather drink kale juice than have some bacon wrapped breadsticks. (YUM!) But, a couple of years ago, I figured out that you can have a healthy breakfast that tastes and feels as decadent as your typical bacon, egg, biscuit and sausage fest that we like to eat down in Alabama, without kicking your cholesterol up to levels that would make Paula Deen proud.

I went to Costa Rica on a yoga retreat, and was totally surprised to discover that I can get down with some vegan (or almost vegan) food. This amazing woman named Ozlem owned a great cafe in Montezuma called Organico, and they made our breakfast every day of the retreat. There were always eggs, but no meat. She made up for it with delicious guacamole, and lots of fresh fruit along with other treats.

Today, I got a craving for something like Ozlem used to make. I ran up the street to Gristede’s, and spent $20. I had the best brunch I’ve had in a long time, and at half the price of a typical Manhattan brunch for two.

Here’s what I made:

Brian’s Brunch for Two-

Scrambled eggs with vine ripe tomatoes.
Whole wheat toast.
Simple guacamole.
Strawberry Cantaloupe smoothie.

Scrambled eggs with Vine Ripe Tomatoes.

The trick here is the butter. Try to find Plugra salted butter. Plugra rocks!

3 organic eggs.
Small amount of Plugra butter (just a tiny bit does the trick)
1/2 smallish vine ripened tomato.
Salt to taste.
Black Pepper.

Just put a sliver of the butter in a non-stick pan.
Crack the eggs into a bowl.
Add the salt, pepper and cayenne. Remember that
the butter has salt in it, so go easy. You can always
add more at the table if you want it.
Beat the eggs just until everything is mixed up.

Now make the easy guacamole.

1 avocado.
Shallot to taste.
Quarter of a lime.
1/2 tomato, chopped.
Pinch of salt.
Black and cayenne pepper to taste.

Chop up the shallot (doesn’t take much!)
Take your avocado, and put it in the bowl.
Add the chopped tomato, shallot, squeeze of
lime, and seasonings. If you want to get fancy,
chop up a little fresh cilantro into the bowl.
Take a fork and mash everything up until it is
of guacamole consistency–you know what I mean!

Throw the bread in your toaster–(whole wheat, please,
no white bread!)

In your blender–

4 or 5 big strawberries.
Cantaloupe (I used 6 big pieces)
2 TBSP of Plain yogurt.
Some coconut water (I like the mango/peach flavor)
Fresh lime.

Blend it up and make sure you have no chunks of fruit.

Check your toast. If you have a two slice toaster, put
two more slices in!

Turn on your stove, and cook the eggs while your
toast is going.

Just pour your eggs into the pan with the rest of your
tomato that you chopped…no big deal.
Cook on medium heat until they are bright yellow.
Your toast should be done, or almost..don’t overcook
your eggs.

Once toast is done, put two slices on each plate.

Throw six or seven ice cubes into your blender and turn it
up. You want to put the ice in at the very last minute so
your smoothie doesn’t get watery.

Put your eggs on the plate.

Guacamole on the side or make a sandwich.

And I have to confess, I did have a little tiny bit of butter on my toast.


Total time (including eating it–) was 30 minutes.

Have a nice Saturday.