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Cheers To You And To 2017!

Posted on January 1, 2017 at 3:40 PM

So another new year is upon us, so please raise your glass with me and say "Cheers" to another New year and for giving us another chance to get it right! Ok, ok, I know there's no getting it right really, but I'm sure there's a few of us out there who feel like this is our chance to restart, to begin a new and better chapter. A chance to rewrite ourselves into a new, better version of who we think we should be. And it's here, you're probably thinking I'm going to start the big long awaited speech about New Year's resolutions, change this and do that...Well I hate to disappoint you but that's not going to happen today. I see no point in putting added pressure on you ( we do that enough to ourselves) I don't believe that a resolution is easy to stick to either. How many resolutions have gone by that you have actually fulfilled and still stick to today? How many of them, when you think back make you feel bad about yourself in some way and even worse when they've gone by unfulfilled? Why do we feel as though the new year is about tearing ourselves down. Sure, I understand why we do it, but we do always find the hardest things to change and after a month or two we give up. Why do we give up? Is it because we are tired or tearing ourselves apart when instead we should be build ourselves up? Are we changing something that just can't be changed in a month or two? Are we picking something that makes us who we truly are that shouldn't be changed? I'm not saying that all resolutions are bad and that they are all unattainable. Really we are amazing creatures and can do anything we put our minds to. I just think that resolutions can be flawed and we are made to think BIG!.

So, where am I getting with all this blabbing you say? What is there left to do other than new year resolutions? Well if you are a constant reader of my newsletters/blog you may remember way back to my very first one (WOW!! It's been a year already!!) I wrote to you about a common part of most yoga practices. Setting Intentions. Here's a link if you'd like to reread it

http://www.theyogacottage.ca/apps/blog/show/43732581-happy-new-year-cottage-yogis

But in a nutshell setting an intention is naming something you'd like to attain, with more of your focus on the journey (which could be learning new, incredible things about yourself) You know that saying "It's all about the journey not the end result" Huh... sounds like your awesome journey with your yoga practice, "it's not about about being able to touch your toes, but what you learn on the way there". So let's switch gears this year and forget about resolutions and try setting a or some intentions. Here is a simple guideline to help you along:

1) Keep It Simple - even the tone of it needs to be positive!! So if your intent is to destress I DON'T want to hear you say to yourself "my intention is   to fight this stupid stress!"

2) Aim For Short Term - it's more practical to set your intention for short term rather than long term. You can still think "Big Picture", just divvy it up into smaller pieces.

3) Make Sure It Can Evolve - our minds are very clever. When something new comes along it's intrigued. but then as time passes we get bored. The end goal here is to polish and enhance.

Ok, so when you've set your intention let's take another step in helping to attain it. I myself, go with goal setting. These are little steps along the way to get you closer to your intention. (baby steps, my friends) These could be small things to do or little reminders here and there to keep you moving or even do both! Planners, post it notes, cell phone reminders all help to keep you mentally aware of where you want to go. There's now and app called Intent to help you with your intentions. It was created by the same woman (Mallika Chopra) who wrote the book I talked about "Living With Intent" in my first blog (again if you haven't read it, try it out, it's an awesome read) So open up to that first blank page of your new 365 page book and write your own story. I think I'm going to call my first chapter 'Opportunity' What about you? Don't forget that I'm always here to help you along the way if I can to get you moving along your journey if needed.

Alright... moving on to pose on the month. Let's start the year off with a warrior's heart, ready to tackle this new year with courage, strength, focus and discipline.



This pose won't need much of an introduction and is almost always used in every one of my classes. I give you .... Warrior II pose.

This pose's primary focus is building heat and strength. When holding this pose, be steady and breath deeply, you can help increase your ability to deal with stress by doing so. Warrior II helps to strengthen your quadriceps, hamstrings, hip abductors (outer hip) and shoulders as well as stretching your hip abductors and hip flexors.

Right, now getting into the pose. Let's start with our right foot forward and step back with our left foot making sure our heels are aligned in a straight line as you open your hips to the long edge of the mat. Bend the front right knee stacking it over the ankle while straightening the back leg. Bring the arms up so they are parallel to the floor reaching out in opposite directions through the fingers. Engage the abdominal muscles and relax your shoulders back and down. If you start to feel fatigued, focus on your hands and breath. To decrease the intensity or have a slight modification, you can slightly straighten the front bent leg, or shorten your stance or both. For shoulder discomfort you can bring the hands to prayer position.

Mmmmmm Can you smell what's up ahead? Oh I think you will when you make up this dish. Your house will smell amazing all day while it cooks away. So since the holidays are over, I'm sure most of us don't really want to break out any more of our impressive cooking skills for awhile. So let's break out our crock pots and get ready, shall we?

Let me introduce to you my easy BBQ Pot roast.

This will require minimal effort, but jammed packed full of taste. So here is a list of what you're going to need

1 boneless beef pot roast

1 bag of small yellow potatoes Washed

1 bag baby carrots (I recommend organic)  You can use carrots if you have the time to peel and cut ;)

1 small onion -diced or chopped into small wedges however you like

1 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce ( I love Dad's gluten free original bbq sauce)

1/3-1/2 cup of water

2-3 tbsp of flour (optional - used to thicken the gravy at the end but I never use it)

Ok, so minimal effort remember? Place the pot roast in the crock pot. Take the small bag of potatoes, wash and cut into halves and put into the pot. Take the bag of baby carrots and add them to the crock pot. Now dice up your onions(or whatever size you you wish to cut them) and add them to the pot.Find your bbq sauce and measure out about 1 cup (I tend to use a bit more because it's so good) then using the same cup with the sauce in it, add about 1/2 cup of water to it and mix them together quick. Pour over top of everything in the pot, cover it with the lid and turn it on low and let it cook about 7-9 hours (works great for work days) or on high for 5-6 hours.

Hopefully you aren't home all day smelling this because you will be drooling all day. Find a bib if this happens ;)

When it's ready, I pull out my big serving platter. Remove the pot roast first and slice up (*Remember to those annoying strings!)Then start scooping out all the veggies and surround your roast with them. Here you can add the flour to the gravy to thicken it, but I always skip this I find it's perfect the way it is and I just laddle it out into a gravy boat or if it's just my family I reuse the measuring cup from earlier. (Less dishes my friends, don't judge me :)

Now you have this beautiful platter full of food that looks like you've slaved away for hours when really your prep time was what? 20 mins? (I'm being generous here :)


What are you waiting for? Eat up and enjoy :) Oh! if you have any leftovers, the roast makes for a great sandwich the next day. But I will admit... we never have any leftovers. Shameful I know, but we do love our food here

So again we are at the end of another letter/blog post. I hope you found it useful and enjoyable. I will hopefully see you all soon in class ready to tackle the new year with your heart full of love, peace, patience, kindness and forgiveness.

Namaste my friends

Shannon Hawman xoxoxo


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