Today was pretty much the longest Monday of my life. I taught my usual two yoga classes and then got to assist with Ricky Williams- the Raven’s running back. But more about that in a bit.
Meatless Monday! This is what I got from Wegman’s salad bar- let’s see, tofu, curried tofu salad, field greens, beets, green beans, and somewhere under there was some sort of black bean, kidney bean, southwest salad. Very good!
Here’s a meatless Monday recipe for you! Super easy, vegan, and perfect for a cold day.
Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
So I used 2 small sized butternut squash- cut in half and bake in a glass pan or oven safe dish. Coat the pan with cooking spray and bake at 375 for about 45 minutes. As I’ve said before, this depends on your oven.
Once it’s cooked- let it cool. The first time I made this I was scraping everything out and burning my fingers! Scrape out the seeds and toss them. Take the rest of the squash and put it into a blender or food processor- blend away until smooth.
Add to a big pot and add water till it is at your desired thickness. I probably added close to 2 cups and stir. Put on low to medium heat. Basically now you are seasoning to taste. I added salt, garlic, and fresh rosemary. If you want it more sweet then I’d skip the garlic.
Yummmmmm-really good. Let me know if you make it!
So- Ricky Williams. He is the Baltimore Raven’s running back, holds several NCAA records, is a Heisman Trophy winner and a father of 5. But- he’s also a yoga teacher.
Most of you who know me know that well- I’m not the biggest sports fan. If you invite me to a game, I will drink some beers, cheer for the team, laugh at the other crazy people and try to get on the jumbotron. But do I sit and watch football? Yeah not really.
But from what I have read and heard about him is that he took a break from football to do yoga and pursue a teacher training to help him deal with drug and alcohol abuse and the pressures of fame. Like all of us, he wanted to find more balance in his life. He’s also a Hindu, vegan, ayurvedic practitioner, peta supporter, and has traveled to India to live in an ashram.
You can say I basically live in a monastery… Something very similar. Every day, we get up early in the morning. We meditate. The life I lead now is very rigorous —not physically rigorous but mentally rigorous. We’re on a really tight schedule throughout the day. You don’t get much time to relax. ~Ricky Williams
Look at all the people who came out!
Ricky teaches a Sivananda style yoga class which is a traditional style of yoga that I personally think everyone can do. Sivananda yoga focuses a lot on breathing, meditation, and relaxation. It was actually the style of yoga that I first got into! So I pretty much knew the sequence in my head. It’s definitely different from my style of power vinyasa but I still love parts of the sequence. There were lots of college students and people of all ages and levels in attendance.
I saw tons of my old students from previous places I used to teach as well as current students and teach friends and it really made me happy to know that there are so many people who love yoga!
The focus and clarity I gained from the knowledge changed my entire life perspective; I realized that happiness doesn’t come from external objects like cars, money, fame, or even from family. Happiness is our true nature when our minds are still. ~Ricky Williams
One thing that I think it important to note is that even though he is a NFL football player and professional athlete- he is also someone who cares about the lives of others and their happiness and giving back to the community. He’s truly a person who took the time to figure out what he wanted in his own life and that meant taking a break from a successful career. Just because you’re a famous football player doesn’t mean that you know how to deal with the typical every day ups and downs. It takes practices for him and for all of us too. And just like all of us, he wants to make our community that we live in a better place.
All of the proceeds from tonight’s event went to the Ricky Williams Foundation:
The Ricky Williams Foundation (RWF) is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3), organized to provide tutorial services, public speaking programs and sports camps that promote health and fitness. With your help and/or participation, the Ricky Williams Foundation will make great strides towards helping equip youth with the fundamental skills to be successful in life. RWF’s mission is to be instrumental in the economic, social and educational development of at-risk individuals from low social-economic communities as well as be a major player in raising funds for world-wide disaster relief by partnering with other not-for-profits.
So in the holiday spirit just take a second and think about what you can do to help someone in need- whether it’s a friend or family member to call and see how they are or donating food to a shelter. It doesn’t have to be big to make a difference and you certainly don’t have to be an NFL player to do it.
Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love. ~Martin Luther King Jr.