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A Yogini’s Knitting Corner

Jan 17, 2012   //   by Yoga Lisa DC   //   Blog, creativity, knitting, meditation  //  No Comments

my latest finished projects - my designs (infinity scarf and wrist warmers in S. Charles Collezione Venus yarn)

These last two weeks have been quite busy and I haven’t done as much knitting as I would have liked. I did have fun completing some projects and getting together with my friends for a morning of knitting creativity again. I finished a pair of wrist warmers and my infinity scarf. I love them for indoor wear (they aren’t so warm that I can enjoy them outside).

This last weekend, I also started on what will be a really important project – my first baby blanket.

my first baby blanket (Loops & Threads Impeccable yarn in Fresh Lilac Ombre)

 

 

 

I’m excited about this latest project. It is going to be a lot of work – 40″ x 40″ when finished and it takes me 15-20 minutes per row. I’m excited to see how this continues to evolve.

My morning of knitting was a lot of fun too. Alison, Eve, Melissa, and I met up at our local coffee shop. It’s so fun that our knitting group is beginning to grow. And we all worked on one of our latest projects. I started my first baby blanket.

Alison worked on a scarf for her dad.

 

Alison also did the finishing on two projects. This is her purple cowl. Totally cute!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Melissa was working on a some yoga socks. I realize I need to try out the pattern she used.

 

 

Eve was back to her sweater. I cannot wait to see it when it's finished.

 

 

 

 

 

 

And Melissa finished the first half of the pair.

 

 

 

 

It was such a great morning/afternoon. So much fun with the girls and looking forward to our next get together. And I can’t wait to share more photos of the baby blanket and another project or two that I hope to start in the next week. Such a fun and creative morning, looking forward to having more very soon.

When was your last creative morning? When is your next?

It’s tea time… again…

Jan 10, 2012   //   by Yoga Lisa DC   //   Blog, tea  //  No Comments

As I keep having my tea time regularly, I’m slowly working through the stockpile of tea that is in my cabinet at work. And on these cold winter nights, I’ve also found myself enjoying tea time at home. I have started to keep a small (very small) stockpile of tea at home (right now, Teavana’s Youthberry/Wild Orange Blossom Blend, White Ayurvedic Chai, and Tranquil Dreams). And I’ve been enjoying them in my favorite Winnie the Pooh and Friends oversized mug. Tea is a great complement to my evenings of knitting and the right blends definitely help me relax and prepare for bed. All this being said, today’s tea time will feature some of my go-to teas for when I’m at home… Teavana White Ayurvedic Chai and Teavana Tranquil Dreams.

Teavana White Ayurvedic Chai – a blend of white tea, green tea, cinnamon, lemongrass, candied pineapple pieces (pineapple, sugar), red pepper, bruised black pepper, coconut chips (coconut, coconut fat, sugar), ginger pieces, cinnamon flavoring, cardamom, cloves.

There was a long period of time that I thought that I didn’t like chai tea at all. And a few months ago, I recognized that I didn’t like chai mixed with rooibos and I actually enjoy rooibos tea on its own. Well, recently I was in the Teavana store and tried their White Ayurvedic Chai tea. And to my surprise, I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was slightly sweet and I asked, they had put some rock sugar in it. And it was extremely flavorful. It has a collection of spices that I use in a lot of my cooking. I found that with a tiny bit of sugar and no rooibos, I really do enjoy chai tea. This tea is delicious. The white and green tea keep it feeling a bit light and the spices are not overpowering at all. The tea has some balancing properties based on the science of Ayurveda and I think that it does help keep me in balance. I’m quite happy that I found it and have even brought some into the office to enjoy while I’m at work during the day. This is another tea that I intend to keep stocked in my tea cabinet.

Teavana Tranquil Dreams – a blend of rosehip peels, citrus peels, chamomile flowers, lemongrass, orange petals, hibiscus flowers, spearmint, and flavoring (orange, vanilla, tangerine).

This tea is very soothing as the name would suggest. The ingredients are intended to aide in relaxation, which could then help you fall asleep. I don’t know if it’s helped me fall asleep, but I know that it is an enjoyable tea that has a pleasant taste. I add a teaspoon of rock sugar to give it a little sweetness. This is a nice variation from my regular flowery herbal teas with its citrus and spearmint notes that accompany the rosehip peels and the hibiscus flowers. The spearmint is a very unexpected taste, but is extremely delightful. I enjoyed it the other morning with my breakfast too, so it’s not just an evening tea for me. This was definitely a good addition to my home pantry.

What teas do you stock in your home pantry? Are they different than the ones in your office? Do you have any favorite nighttime teas that I should try?

My Mini-Anusara Immersion

Jan 6, 2012   //   by Yoga Lisa DC   //   Blog, self-care, Yoga  //  No Comments

One of my teachers frequently reminds us about the benefits of and need for making time for self-care. She even suggests that we each take time to go on a retreat – whether that be an afternoon alone wandering in the city, a formal planned retreat to some far off destination, or even a day trip up to NYC to sightsee and maybe take some yoga classes. Time away to help ignite your internal fire. Last week was just that for me. I took 4 yoga classes at my go-to yoga studio near the town I grew up in – Dancing Foot Yoga (“DFY”). DFY specializes mostly in the Anusara, Iyengar, and Kundalini styles of yoga. My week was a like a mini-Anusara immersion, since that was the style of all the classes that I took.

It was the jumpstart I needed after the incredibly busy last few months and before moving into the new year. I made the time for self-care, bought myself a 5 class pass, and made it to my mat 4 times while in NJ. And my favorite part of the entire experience was all that I learned from the wonderful teachers at DFY. Each teacher – Emily, Kat, and Regina – is Anusara-certified teachers and brings her own distinctive teaching voice into the studio.

I took two of Emily’s mixed level classes last week. Emily’s background includes practice in the Ashtanga tradition, in addition to her Anusara practice and training. Her practices were challenging to me from the sequencing to the application of alignment. I had fun playing with the flows and was definitely inspired to bring some of Emily’s simple creativity into my classes. My favorite sequence included a modified lunge twist (parivrtta prasvakonasana) transitioning to extended side angle pose (utthita parsvakonasana) transitioning to side plank (vasisthasana). It was a fun sequence to play with. In class, Emily reinforced the principles of keeping the side body long, inner body bright – allowing the heart to shine, and keeping the arm bones in the shoulder sockets along the back body. By my third day of taking classes last week, I was showing marked improvement in doing all three and although I get sore when doing my downward facing dogs (adho mukha svanasana) now, my alignment is improving greatly. And I picked up some new cuing, which helped me, and I hope that I can effectively bring into my classes to help guide my students.

Regina’s class on Friday also had a strong alignment focus. Regina started her class with a quote from Buddha about abandoning that which does not serve us (I really have to find the quote). She talked about samskaras (samskaras are patterns that we tend to repeat over and over in our lives). And in light of the upcoming new year, her focus was on letting go of the past and trying to break some of the patterns that may hold us back. The practice focused a lot on keeping our lower ribs in our back body, while keeping the heart open. I found it particularly hard at times to do this, as the natural inclination can be to puff out the lower ribs, but I did it. She taught us to sit straight up and down, rather than leaning forward. The class theme particularly resonated with me and I only wish I could remember more of her exact cues. And in our seated forward fold (paschimottanasana), Regina came over and taught me the “anusara” way to do it, breathing into the back body and incrementally folding deeper, keeping a yogi toe-lock and elbows out to the side. I think it has changed my seated forward fold forever.

In DC, I don’t take the opportunity very often to attend classes in meditation and there are very few opportunities to take classes in pranayama. So when I saw both on the DFY schedule, I made it a point to go and try them out. I went to a class called Hip Opening & Meditation taught by Kat. The class was really hip opening, pranayama, and meditation and I loved it. It was a complete change of pace from my normal practice. Our hip opening was akin to a yin practice in that we weren’t overly warm when we started and we held each asana for several breaths. After about 30 minutes of hip opening, Kat set us up to practice some pranayama. I had my first experiences with Viloma I and Viloma II breathing techniques. We practiced a little more before more pranayama and then a short seated meditation and savasana. On Friday, I stayed after Regina’s class for Kat’s pranayama class. It was 30 minutes of just pranayama. We did some of the same techniques that we did on Tuesday, including some nadi shodhana (alternate nostril breathing). I am so happy that I took these classes. I am excited to try to bring the new breathing techniques that I learned into the classes I teach. It will be challenging myself as a teacher, something that I definitely need to do more often.

I really enjoyed my mini-Anusara immersion. I learned so much – refinements to alignment, new breathing techniques, and new ways to explore how to let go. Now, time to implement what I learned in my teaching and personal practice (and maybe find an Anusara class that I can take to help supplement my vinyasa practice).

When was the last time you went on a retreat or made time for self-care? Did it reignite a fire within you or give you a much needed jumpstart? When are you going to have that time again?

Celebrating the Season…

Jan 4, 2012   //   by Yoga Lisa DC   //   Blog, Events, food, vacation  //  No Comments

There were so many posts that I wanted to write over the course of the last month and with all the holiday cheer, I didn’t quite find the time to write them, so I am playing a little catch up this first week of the new year. Here are some of the highlights of my holiday season…

A Girls’ Night Out for the Holidays with some of the girls

We enjoyed some good food…

house fries with truffled parmesan

mushroom pesto pizza

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

white pizza with basil pesto

fried deviled eggs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then, we had a great grab-bag.

the grab-bag

 

And here are the girls…

Abby, Jessica, Amy, & Julie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alison, Nicole, & me

 

 

I went home to NJ to celebrate Christmas. It was a great time with my family, getting opportunities to catch up and have a lot of fun.

me on Christmas Eve with my parents Christmas tree

 

 

 

I came back from a great trip home with my family to Virginia to host a game night for me and some of my friends on New Year’s Eve. It was a great way to ring in the new year.

New Year's Eve game night - playing team trivial pursuit

New Year's Eve game night - playing team trivial pursuit

New Year's Eve game night - playing team trivial pursuit - our trivial pursuit host

 

New Year’s Eve was a blast, as was the rest of the holiday season. This was truly a great holiday season, and although I’m happy that things are slowing down, I’m excited for what the new year is going to bring and hopefully, seeing all of these friends and more throughout 2012.

How did you spend your holidays? What are you looking forward to in the new year?

 

A Yogini’s Knitting Corner

Jan 3, 2012   //   by Yoga Lisa DC   //   Blog, creativity, knitting, meditation  //  4 Comments

The holidays have come and gone and this last week has definitely been quieter in my knitting world. I spent the better part of the last week out of town with my family and didn’t have nearly as many opportunities to pick up my sticks. I’ve been focused on two different scarf projects since I had been away for the holidays.

Basketweave Scarf - made with Berroco Remix Yarn in Ocean

I started this scarf which will be a belated Christmas gift for my uncle. I’m having fun working on it, and thoroughly enjoying knowing that I will mail it in the next couple of weeks. I found the pattern in the book – Chicks with Sticks, Guide to Knitting. It’s a simple basketweave pattern and I love the yarn. 

Last week, I also started an infinity scarf for myself. I had so much fun making Sabine’s vertically striped infinity, that I wanted to make one for myself. This is the start of that scarf. I’m hoping to have this finished by the end of the month so I can wear it a bit this winter.

vertical stripe achieved by knitting 4 rounds then purling 4 rounds

 

My vertically striped infinity in S. Charles Collezine Venus yarn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I also had the opportunity to meet up with my friend Alison yesterday and we knitted for a bit at the Barnes & Noble cafe. It was a nice was to spend the afternoon. I spent some time working on the basketweave scarf. I’m looking forward to having more time during the evenings this week to knit and getting further along with both of these projects. I also am beginning my thesis project for my advanced teacher training – Yoga & Knitting: An exploration of mindfulness, meditation, and creativity. Over the next few months, I’ll begin to share more about that here. I’m excited about the thesis project and can’t wait to share as I delve into the topic.

How have you shared your creativity recently? Are you working on any new projects?

Intentions for a new year…

Jan 2, 2012   //   by Yoga Lisa DC   //   Blog, creativity, self-care  //  3 Comments

Cheers to new beginnings! Happy 2012!

I made the decision towards the end of 2011 that I wouldn’t make any new year’s resolutions. I decided that instead I would set intentions for the new year. Intentions of things that I would do or strive to do throughout the new year, rather than things that I resolve to do. My intentions span all areas of my life – work, yoga, family, life. So here goes, in 2012, I intend to:

  • be present
  • be kind
  • let be and let go
  • smile
  • laugh and laugh at myself
  • not take myself so seriously
  • live
  • love and be loved
  • have fun
  • attend yoga classes and/or practice yoga at home at least 4 times a week
  • eat 5 fruits and veggies a day
  • be compassionate towards myself and others
  • pay off all non-mortgage debt
  • set long-term goals for my careers in accounting and yoga
  • pen two or three blog posts every week
  • complete my thesis for my 500-hour certification – Yoga & Knitting: an exploration of mindfulness, meditation, & creativity
  • visit my family in NJ as often as I can
  • take care of myself
  • fail, as failure plants the seeds for success
  • grow up
  • grow old gracefully
  • be my authentic self
  • embrace my creative side
  • continue to knit and art journal regularly with my friends
  • break the patterns that do not serve me
These intentions are not in any particular order. This list will grow and evolve throughout the year. Some of these intentions are goals with tangible end results and steps to achieve. Some of these are attitudes for me to embrace. And some of these are reminders. My intentions are never fixed and while the “goal-orientated” intentions may come off the list over the year, many of these will stay on the list indefinitely. I look forward to continuing to look back at these intentions and see how they evolve over the next twelve months.
And these are only my intentions. Check out the intentions of some of my friends: YogaTwistOnLife and Adventures in Vegetarianism.
Did you set any intentions or resolutions for the upcoming year?

A Yogini’s Knitting Corner

Dec 29, 2011   //   by Yoga Lisa DC   //   Blog, creativity, knitting, meditation  //  2 Comments

my yoga socks in Glass Slipper - Cotton Bam Boo yarn by Classic Elite Yarns

This is the second part of this week’s Yogini’s Knitting Corner. One of my favorite projects to make recently has been yoga socks, an idea suggested by Kimberly (who happens to be in the pink socks below). And I’ve been asked a few times now for the pattern that I’ve used, so I wanted to share it here. I found a pattern for Easy Peasy Yoga Pilates socks and made some modifications that have made them fit my feet and ankles a bit better. Here’s my final pattern:

Kimberly's yoga socks in Provence Pink - Cotton Bam Boo yarn by Classic Elite Yarns

Yoga/Pilates Socks

US  Size 5, 9″ circular needle
Classic Elite Yarns Cotton Bam Boo (knitting weight DK – so any sock, fingering, or DK weight should work)

This pattern can be used to make socks for regular and wide width feet. Numbers in parenthesis indicate the wide width modification.

CO 42 (48)
Round 1: knit all stitches
Round 2: purl all stitches
Round 3: knit all stitches
Rounds 4-31: *k2p1, repeat from *
Round 32: 21 (24) k2p1, bind off 21 (24) loosely in k2p1 rib
Round 33: *k2p1, repeat from *, turn work
Round 34:  *p2k1, repeat from *, turn work
Round 35: *k2p1, repeat from *, CO 21 (24) and rejoin work
Rounds 36-78: *k2p1, repeat from *
Round 79: knit all stitches
Round 80: purl all stitches
Round 81 knit all stitches
Round 82: purl all stitches
Round 83: bind off loosely in knit

Make your second sock and you are ready to wear these on and off the mat. Increase or decrease the amount of rounds between 36 and 78 based on how high you would like the sock to come up onto the calf.

If you have any questions about the pattern, feel free to comment. I’m a novice pattern writer and I’ve been doing my best as I write patterns to have them make sense.

I hope you enjoy making these as much as I do. Happy Knitting!

A Yogini’s Knitting Corner

Dec 27, 2011   //   by Yoga Lisa DC   //   Blog, creativity, knitting, meditation  //  No Comments

Kimberly in her Provence Pink Yoga Socks (made with Classic Elite Cotton Bam Boo yarn in Provence Pink) - look forward to the pattern in a post later this week.

These last two weeks have been incredibly busy, and so I’m a bit behind with all things blog related, but it has been quite a couple weeks in knitting. I’ve been enjoying finishing some quick projects in preparation of the holidays. I’ve also started some new ones and invested in some books to help me learn some new knitting techniques. I’ve spent a lot of time knitting in the round and have determined that I do prefer circular to straight knitting needles, even when knitting flat. Here’s a sampling of some of what I’ve finished in the last couple weeks, modelled by those who received them:

Sabine in her vertically striped infinity scarf (made with S. Charles Collezione Venus yarn)

Jackie in her wrap (made with Lionbrand Homespun and Fun Fur yarns)

 

Aunt Mary in her horizontally striped infinity scarf (made with S. Charles Collezione Venus yarn)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sharon in her wrap (made with Lionbrand Homespun and Fun Fur yarns)

My mom in her horizontally striped infinity scarf (made with S. Charles Collezione Venus yarn)

You can see that it’s been quite the last copule weeks in knitting. And although the holidays have come and gone very quickly, that is not the end of my project cue. In the next few weeks, there will be more wrist warmers, scarves, and yoga socks, plus stepping out of my comfort zone to try sweaters, blankets, and maybe even some baby accessories. The next few months will be busy and I am excited to continue to share my and my friends’ knitting projects.

Have you expressed your creativity lately? What projects do you have on the horizon?

It’s tea time… again…

Dec 26, 2011   //   by Yoga Lisa DC   //   Blog, tea  //  No Comments

I’ve been having tea time at least four or five times a day now as the weather continues to get colder, loving that there are so many low-caffeine and caffeine free varieties to choose from. And I’ve been trying and incorporating into my tea rotation at least one new or different tea every week. There are times though when I need a good caffeine kick to get me going. In those times, I go back to black tea. So, following on the mint, white tea, and herbal tea editions of tea time, this week’s tea time features some of my go to black teas… Numi Aged Earl Grey, Mighty Leaf Tea Orchid Oolong, and Taylors of Harrogate Pure Assam Tea.

Numi Aged Earl Grey (loose leaf black tea) – Fair Trade Certified Assam Black Tea, organic Bergamot.

The canister this tea comes in is a pretty shade of cyan, which is immediately stimulating to the eyes. Then you open the sealed bag of tea leaves and get smell the strong scent of bergamot. It’s what makes earl grey tea, what it is. This was the first black tea that I’d had in a while. And I was (not-so) pleasantly reminded that especially with black tea, you want to avoid over-steeping. This tea definitely gets bitter with over-steeping. It took me a while to take a liking to earl grey, but once I did, I definitely look for opportunities to drink it. So whether I’m drinking my earl grey like this, or in a tea latte from Starbucks (flavored with a few pumps of vanilla syrup, which adds an amazing flavor to it), I find myself coming back to earl grey and I am happy that I have this in my cabinet for when I have a craving.

Mighty Leaf Tea Orchid Oolong – a peaceful floral balance of the finest full oolong tea leaves with soft notes of fruit.

One of my colleagues suggested that I give this Orchid Oolong tea a try. She said it’s one of her favorites because of the smooth flavor. I don’t typically go for Oolong, but there is a first for everything, right? At a formal meeting, this tea was one of the options and I jumped on the chance to give it a try. I have to agree with my colleague. The tea has a very smooth flavor. It’s also very light. I’m not sure if oolong falls into the official category of black teas, but I decided that’s where I would categorize it. The tea has a wonderful flavor and a light taste. It’s a tea that I don’t see every day in the grocery store, which makes it that much more of a special treat for when I can get it. I can definitely say that I’ll enjoy more of this whenever I have the opportunity.

Taylors of Harrogate Pure Assam Tea – a rich, refreshing Indian tea from the Brahmaputra Valley.

This is another one of my conference tea finds. I attended an accounting conference a few weeks ago and this tea happened to be the afternoon caffeine boost I would need to make it through the day. It’s suggested that it’s best enjoyed with milk, but that’s not how I enjoy it. I enjoy it in it’s pure black form and from time to time with a little bit of rock sugar (as I’m enjoying it right now). I sometimes mix it with a little peppermint tea (but that might just be for this time of the year). This is a classic black tea. I appreciate that simplicity. It’s been a go to when I go to the annual accounting conference and I expect it will continue to be so.

Have you had tea time recently? What are your favorite black teas?

Merry Christmas!

Dec 25, 2011   //   by Yoga Lisa DC   //   Blog, Events, photography  //  No Comments

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About Lisa

Auntie to two adorable little boys and a beautiful little girl. Sister. Friend. Yogini. Yoga teacher. Accountant. Knitter. Amateur photographer. Very amateur golfer.

Where to Find Lisa

Wednesdays, 8:30 p.m.
Yoga 1 (1 hour)*
Tranquil Space Arlington

Thursdays, 5:30 p.m. Yoga On-the-Go*
Thursdays, 7:00 p.m. Yoga 1*
Tranquil Space Arlington

Substitute Teach, As Needed*
Tranquil Space Arlington and Dupont

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