Virabhadrasana II (Warrior 2) + Sundried Tomato, Veggie, and Pine Nut Pasta=Abundance in a Pasta

    Warrior 2 modeled by my beautiful Yogi friend Rebecca Purser



    This past weekend I went to a Yoga workshop in LA. As we were learning about our feet and how important they are in a Yoga practice, the instructor had five of us, myself included, stand on stage to look at our body’s alignment. At first I felt pretty confident standing up there, and then the marker came out…you may be wondering how a marker has anything to do with standing on a stage for a yoga workshop, and I was wondering the same thing when it first came out, but sure enough it was there. The teacher went down the line, and one by one she started marking the back of our legs. The purpose of this marking exercise was to show us, and the other students in the class where our imperfections/imbalances were in the alignment of our body. You can maybe guess that my confidence started to dwindle pretty fast. Old feelings of lack and not being good enough started to creep in. As I walked off the stage I started to gain my confidence back, but I felt an uneasy feeling in my body for the rest of the day.

    As I awoke the next day I realized that the vulnerability of that exercise on stage had triggered in me feelings of needing to fix myself and not being enough as I am. This awareness brought me back to the memory of something that I teach to my students all the time, especially in warrior 2…that even when I am in an extremely challenging and vulnerable position I can always choose to be myself. This concept still challenges me at time, especially coming from a history of trying to fit into the smaller pants size, trying to fit into the cool crowd, and trying to fix myself thin so I could fit in, but what I have learned through these challenging experiences is that I can and I do always have the power to change my feelings of lack into that of abundance. I may not have the body that is “perfect” on the outside, but I can say I awake most morning feeling happier and free-er living in the body I was blessed with, and rocking out my vulnerability and truth for all to see in hopes of inspiring others to do the same!

    This week I chose to pair together warrior 2 and a delicious gluten free vegan pasta I created because both represent an expression of vulnerability and truth, that when fully embraced are way tastier and rewarding than one could have ever expected. For those of you that are unfamiliar with warrior 2, it is one of those poses that is unavoidably challenging physically and mentally. I often teach warrior 2 with a long hold. When I am holding my students in warrior 2 I can see the looks on their faces. They so badly want to get out, to move, to fidget…so often it tears me up inside to see them go through this, and at the same time I am so deeply committed to their growth and empowerment, that I hold them there. I hold them there not to punish them, but to guide them into experiencing what it truly feels like to be vulnerable and surrender in a challenging moment. What they often get to walk away with is experiencing a very vulnerable and challenging pose from a place of empowerment, safety, and surrender; rather than from a place of lack, I am not good enough, and struggle. The coolest thing is when I actually see the shift in my students bodies; to see them tap into an abundance that has and always is present for them in their bodies. And I believe that the abundance that

    is already within comes from letting go of the fight to be something they are not and dropping into the beauty, strength, and essence that is uniquely them.

    I chose to pair the pose with the abundance in a pasta recipe this week because I often hear people poo-pooing anything that says vegan and gluten free. I know it is just food we are talking about here :), but a pasta that is gluten free and vegan is putting itself out on a limb when it comes to the critiques. It can definitely feel a bit vulnerable out there. Yet once you taste this pasta you will be able to experience an abundance of flavor, joy, and nourishment in every bite.

    As you move into the rest of your week hang out in warrior 2 and eat some abundance in a pasta; and see if you can start to come from a place of abundance, rather than from a place of lack. It all starts with us…connect in first with what is already available inside you…then be open to receiving and see what happens when you live in an open, vulnerable, and abundant state of mind. And always remember a quote someone once told me “I AM ENOUGH”.

    Living vulnerably and abundantly with you,

    Melanie

    Abundance In a Pasta Recipe:

    You will need a large pot to boil pasta and a large sauce pan to saute veggies.

    Ingredients:
    -Approximately half a bag of any gluten free pasta of your liking. I bought the brown rice pasta spirals from Trader Joes, but have also used the brown rice spaghetti and quinoa spaghetti.
    -2 tbsps. of Olive Oil
    -1 Shallot coarsely chopped
    -2 cloves of garlic minced
    -2 tbsps. of sundried tomatoes (preferably use the ones not in the oil but if you can’t find that variety use 1 tbsp. less of olive oil.)
    -1/2 cup of any variety of mushrooms ( I have used white, crimini, and portabello: all are yummy)
    -1 cup of fresh spinach
    -1/2 cup of chopped fresh carrots (sliced thinly)
    -3/4 cup of Pasta Sauce (I used the natural unsalted one called Pomi, if I don’t have the time to make one, or you can use an organic one in the can)
    -1/4 cup of pine nuts for garnish
    -1/4 cup of artichoke hearts (optional, I usually use the ones in a jar or from the olive bar at a health food store)
    -1-2 tsps. of sea salt to taste
    -Italian herb blend for garnish (optional)

    Preparation and Cooking:
    -In a large pot bring water to boil for pasta, once the water comes to a boil add pasta in for suggested time on the package, usually 9-11 minutes (while water is coming to a boil, prepare the blend of veggies)
    -In a large saute pan, start by sauteing 1 tbsp of olive oil, garlic, and shallots. (use a medium high heat and saute for approx 3-4 minutes)
    -From here add in all the rest of the veggies, other tbsp of olive oil if you did not get the sundried tomatoes in the oil, and sea salt to taste.
    -Saute on a medium-low heat for about 5-7 minutes of until the veggies are al dente.
    -Once the veggies are cooked add in the sauce and any additional salt you may want for taste, cook on low-medium temperature for about 3-4 minutes or until heated thoroughly.
    -Last step is to drain the water from the cooked pasta and add pasta and sauce mix back to large pot.
    -heat thoroughly and serve with a garnish of pine nuts.

    -Last last step 🙂 EAT & ENJOY!

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    1. Forget that marker! It is the PRACTICE…not perfect alignment…I hate that it even temporarily knocked your confidence out of balance. You have so much to GIVE exactly as you are….with 100% perfect alignment or not. Here’s to coming from a place of ABUNDANCE instead of LACK. YaYuH! Appreciate your always thoughtful and eloquent reminders!