Cold Weather Mornings

This morning I woke up 10 minutes before my alarm went off, which is the ideal waking situation. It means I got a full night’s sleep — only 7 hours last night, due a busy evening in Boston capped by an excruciating subway delay and a 9:20pm dinner of leftover steak and mushrooms — but obviously just enough sleep, and any day that doesn’t begin with a blaring alarm is bound to be a good one.

Plus, that’s 10 more minutes of early morning yoga. Even on days when I do feel well-rested, my morning yoga sessions are never too long or intense. They are more like warm-ups, and while I would love to continue beyond the 20-25 minutes of gentle movement, the day begins to loom in front of me like an unfurled to-do list. Need to shower, make breakfast, pack lunch, wake up my husband, and make myself presentable to the world! Need to drive to work, and then actually work for 8 hours! When I practice yoga in the early morning, it is difficult to keep focused on my breath, and not on whether there is meat thawed for tonight’s dinner.

Yes, food is sometimes on my mind when I do yoga. Not that I’m hungry. Perhaps there is a biologically tie between physical activity and thinking about food. After all, in the caveman era, food was usually the goal of physical activity (food, and escaping tigers). So maybe it’s not so strange that, as I stretch my buttocks and hips to the sky in downward-dog, I’m dreaming about this:

Yes, that was breakfast… the last of the CSA sausage (which I didn’t finish — I mean, that’s a slab) and two eggs, poached in pork grease. Hey, it’s cold outside.

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Snowstorm Activities

We were confined to our cave yesterday by a 12-inch snowstorm. I woke up around 6am (my weekday waking time, which seems to be biologically hard-coded) and stole away to my little makeshift yoga studio to find some inner peace and backbending with Shiva Rea, my favorite DVD yoga queen. I just received her Daily Energy –Vinyassa Flow DVD, so I did 2 20-minute sequences while peeking out the window at the falling snow.

Later in the morning, Mr. Pinault and I sat down for our breakfast. I had 3 eggs and some of the amazing pork sausage from our meat CSA. Mmmm… look at all that grease! Mr. Pinault had the same, in smaller portion, with his customary toast.

Snowstorm Breakfast

After breakfast, we bided our time waiting for the snow to taper off so we could shovel out. Our downstairs neighbor suggested we shovel our property together and then convene for an apres-shovel, with some wine and cheese. We readied some vin chaud (beaujolias stewed with oranges, cinnamon, anise, and nutmeg) in preparation. But before the treats, there was a 12-inch blanket of fluffy white snow that needed to be cleared from our driveway, cars, and sidewalk.

Shoveling

Yoga is great training for snow shoveling. You need shoulder strength and flexibility to gracefully manuever a snow-filled shovel. Plus, mental endurance!  How tempting it is to slack off, especially when shoveling with other people.

But I endured the shoveling, and then partook of my Shavasana in the form of vin chaud and some relaxed socializing. In the evening, we returned home and I decided to do some upper-body stretching for about 30 minutes. Then, we had a photo shoot for the banner of this website, which involved me doing bridge pose over a slab of grass-fed beef. How many bridge poses did I do? Oh, at least 8. We moved the location several times, so by the time we got to this one, my arms were getting tired. But the presense of the steak was motivating, as I knew it would be our dinner.

Projects for cabin fever

This morning my back was sore from all the bending, and I greeted the day with 15 minutes of Kundalini-style stretching. Breakfast was boiled eggs (3) and a small handful of walnuts… today there will be not much time for meat or yoga, but I got my fill yesterday.

Boiling breakfast... with one floating rotten eggs

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