As a mother of three little bears I don’t have much time to myself. In the light of that this past weekend was a little spot of heaven, sunshine and peaceful contemplation in my otherwise depressingly busy, chaotic and stressful usual life. For the first time ever I went on a yoga retreat….to Portugal no less! And it was 30 degrees every day and it was quiet and it was beautiful.
With only four other lovely ladies, we did yoga sessions first thing in the morning as the sun came up and last thing at night watching the sun go down, we ate healthy delicious food and we enjoyed each others company. Our teacher Anna was patient and encouraging with all of us and more than anything she was an inspiration. As a mother of three children herself she is a real woman practising a graceful and strong form of vinyasa flow yoga. Watching her practise her own much more advanced sequences than any of us students could cope with, was seriously impressive, I only hope I can develop half the strength that she has if I continue with my own yoga practice as seriously.
What I love about yoga is the peace and inner strength that you learn to develop through each and every session and I love the fact that I can see myself progressing every day. I managed to sit in a full Lotus pose for the first time since I was probably 8 years old and I held a Bird of Paradise pose momentarily before falling rather inelegantly to the ground! But I achieved something I’ve never achieved before and my body got stronger and more confident as I did it.
Now I’m back to reality with a bump into a busy Tuesday morning starting with a stressful hour long school run and a failed attempt to drive through surrey to a class that I never made it to because the traffic was so bad. Having given up and come home I decided to get back into the kitchen to de-stress and to try to recreate some of the magic I had experience in Portugal.
I realised whilst I was away that I don’t know anything about Portuguese food so I spent some time doing some foodie research with my tummy rumbling trying to decide what would be a good way to honour my yoga weekend. And this is what I came up with: a simple, rich and flavoursome Caldo Verde (Portuguese for “Green Broth”) full of nutritious kale and spicy chorizo. Naturally gluten and dairy free it’s made with a base of potatoes and onions and you can choose to make it as spicy or mild as you fancy.