‘Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself’ – Rumi
Though I’ve never been one for conventional exercise, routines often comprised of walking, jittering, bopping, that unstructured movement for movements sake, over the past nearly decade, dabbling in and out of practice, I’ve found the most strength and guidance in yoga. Perhaps getting lost in the repetitions of salutation, my body and mind empowered by the magic of muscle memory, the power hidden within my myself, it’s those hours spent in my studio moving where I truly feel most rejuvenated, introspective, and alive. And while I’d love to give the physical act of practice every ounce of credit, those heart lifting and life giving asanas every fist bump in my pocket, whole body wellness can only be achieved through the incorporation of not only motion, but nourishing meals and a nurturing atmosphere to thrive in. It wasn’t until a few months back I began incorporating melodies with movement, not only finding a local studio with a great soundtrack, but supplementing during at home stretching and flows. Music provided that extra motivation to not only unroll and move on my mat, but sway and fly to the beat, really smile during the highs and really allow my muscles to just relax during the slows. Calming and enhancing, I found some of my favorite songs helped guide me into poses, into insight, and into a more fun experience.
Much like my playlist, with varying tempos and rhythms, I’ve gotten into the practice of incorporating different aromatherapies into my yoga wind down, filling my space with the calming, chakra balancing, and third eye opening scents of lavender, enlightening frankincense and neroli, grounding vetiver and nutmeg, and heart opening geranium. Recently, I’ve been most drawn to Aura Cacia’s extensive line of high quality essential oils and aromatherapy, from USDA organic and 100% pure essential oil containing yoga mists, perfect for spritzing all over your body, mat, and studio, to their 100% pure concentrated essential oils, on-the-go chakra balancing aromatherapy roll-ons, and their pre-moistened and compostable body cloths made with pure essential oils, oats, and aloe. Convenient and divine, their aromatherapies not only smell incredible, but each seemingly provide some element of calm and centeredness, practice finality, but also that element of recovery to get me back on my feet fast after an hour of sweat and power.
Usually practicing early in the morning, I’m always sure to wind down my practice with a nourishing meal, replenishing my cells and spirit. A simple and seasonal blend of roasted sweet potato, warming ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg, sweet banana, and that extra plant based protein boost, recently I’ve been reaching for my Sweet Savasana Smoothie. Post savasana, the final pose of practice, when the whole body is relaxed onto the floor with an awareness of the chest and abdomen rising and falling with each breath, all tension released, I love curling up with this almost pumpkin pie like vegan sweet potato smoothie bowl, a further extension of calm, topping it with my favorite crunchy toppings, like raw buckwheat cereal, walnuts, and cacao, and digging in. Whole body wellness is so multifaceted, it’s imperative we not only hear our bodies, but listening to them and their needs, nourishing every aspect of our being to thrive.
Sweet Savasana Smoothie [makes 2 smoothies]
1 medium sweet potato
2 medium bananas, peeled + frozen
1 scoop plant based protein powder
1 tablespoon coconut butter
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
pinch ground nutmeg + allspice
¼ – ½ cup unsweetened almond milk
The night before you plan on preparing your smoothie, preheat oven to 400 degrees F, rack in the middle. Wrap your sweet potato in foil and bake for 60-75 minutes, or until very soft to the touch. Remove from heat, allow to cool, then scoop out sweet potato flesh, disposing of skin (or feel free to munch on it). Store refrigerated in airtight tupperware overnight.
To prepare your smoothie: in a high-speed blender, pulse baked sweet potato flesh, frozen bananas, protein powder, coconut butter and spices with ¼ almond milk, adding more milk until desired consistency is reached (I prefer my smoothie to have a soft-serve ice cream like consistency!). Pour into your favorite bowls, top with desired toppings, and enjoy!
Nutritional Information [per smoothie]
290 Calories, 5.6g Fat, 50g Carbohydrates, 7.5g Fiber, 22.5g Sugar, 13.4g Protein
Thank you Aura Cacia for sponsoring this post, and thank you for reading!