November is a great month. We are mentally over the fact that summer is over and are ready to cozy up in our favourite sweaters. The anticipation of Christmas is here, minus the hectic atmosphere and the pressure of buying gifts and countless Christmas parties. (Which are amazing, but are tiring, let’s face it.) Yoga teaches us to have awareness, compassion, patience and grace in everything we do. So, let’s have a great November and let’s indeed practice what we preach.
Yup. You read it right. As nature calms down and gets ready for hibernation, we humans also need to slow down, and re group. We burn a lot of energy during the summer month, so now is the time to settle in and allow ourselves to not rush into things. Enjoy the quiet. Have a long bath. Spend some time gazing at the flickering fireplace. Allow yourself to have an extra long savasana after your favourite yoga class.
2. Nourish your body
Now with Halloween season (and candy) behind us, and Christmas dinners aheads of us, we are in a perfect space to think of taking extra care of our body. Comfort food season is the best, isn’t it? Delicious soups are so good for your body and your soul, so take advantage of the season.
Here’s a yummy *recipe from Angela Liddon to get you started.
• 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
• 1/2 cup red quinoa, uncooked
• 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 1 medium sweet onion, finely chopped
• 1 medium zucchini, chopped
• 3 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 vegetable bouillon cube (not low sodium)
• 6 cups water, boiled
• One 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
• 1.5-2 cups cooked black beans (about one 15oz can)
• 1 tsp good-quality curry powder
• Pinch or two of cinnamon
• Pinch of ground nutmeg
• 2 cups baby spinach leaves, well rinsed and roughly chopped
• 1/2 tsp kosher salt, to taste
• Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
• Pinch of saffron threads (optional, but tasted amazing)
Directions: Heat the oil in a large soup pot. Add the chopped sweet onion and sauté over medium-low heat until translucent. Add the chopped carrots, chopped zucchini, and minced garlic, and continue to sauté for about 5-7 minutes. Place your bouillon cube into a medium sized bowl. Boil 6 cups of water and pour over the bouillon cube. Stir well to dissolve. Add bouillon mixture, tomatoes, red quinoa, black beans, and spices + seasonings. Bring to a boil and then simmer gently for 15 to 20 minutes. Add the roughly chopped spinach, stir well, and cover. Simmer on low for about 15-35 minutes. The longer you cook it the more the flavours will develop. Taste test and adjust seasonings if necessary. Garnish with nuts of choice if preferred.
Makes about 8-10 cups.
3. Plan your best Christmas
You know you will need to get presents and to see people. So plan your month in advance and finish your Christmas shopping in November I know, most of us promise to have it done as early as possible, but it’s hard to achieve without proper planning. The best thing about buying gifts in advance, is you actually have time to buy a thoughtful gift, instead of buying something because you are running out of time and just have to get a gift. Yoga teaches us to remember about moderation and purpose, so let’s put the magic back into giving and receiving this holiday season.
December is usually full of dinners and get togethers, from corporate parties to family gatherings. November is your perfect opportunity to re-connect with old friends, as you know December is going to be jam packed. Surround yourself with the best people in your life and celebrate them all.
5. Learn a new pose
Try something new this November. Is there an area in our body that needs some extra love? Try a new pose or work on that pose that you’ve been ignoring. Nothing specific comes to mind? One of our favourite yoga poses are the ones that target hips – any hip opener is good for getting rid of that extra baggage we “store” in the hips. Try pigeon pose or butterfly to send extra love to your hips.
Every season brings its own joys. Let’s celebrate them all.
* Recipe and photo by Angela Liddon. Check out Angela’s cook book, if you haven’t already – Oh She Glows – it’s amazing!