Yoga with JacciA blog by Jacci Renyolds



What’s In Your Pantry?


I am heading to Crofton Yoga this weekend and am doing a little pantry clearing.   I love to cook but am not the most creative cook; I like to follow a recipe. I am sure this reveals quite a lot (smile). However, I couldn’t find a recipe with what I wanted to use up in my pantry so I decided to throw a few things together.  Because it turned out well (don’t think I would have shared had it not), I thought I’d share what I created.

Here’s what I started with:  2 boneless chicken breasts, 1 4oz can Thai Kitchen coconut milk, 1 sweet potato, 1 can of pumpkin, 1 shallot.  I diced the chicken, sweet potato and shallot and put them in the bottom of my crockpot.  Then I added the coconut milk and pumpkin as well as  some cumin, salt, pepper and turmeric for a little spice.  Stirred it all up and turned the pot on.  About 7 hours later I sat down to what turned out to be a delicious stew.

As a side note:  next time I think I would brown the chicken and shallot first.

Share with us your favorite pantry recipe!

By the way, if you live in or around Crofton Yoga, join me Friday night (1/10)  6-7:30pm for  a Yoga Workout class…see you there!





Flashback:  I am lying on the floor of a conference room with 40 other people surrounded by the biggest speakers I have ever seen.  The conference presenter asks us to close our eyes and for the next 25 minutes allow the various pieces of music to move through our bodies, minds and spirits.  I am at the National Wellness Conference in Stephens Point, Wisconsin.  The music begins and each piece brings with it different sensations in my body, including vibration, streaming, pulsing as well as a dance of colors and images.  Some pieces make me feel relaxed, calm and centered, others bring on almost an assault like feeling to my being.  Fast forward almost 20 years:  I am listening to a recently acquired CD called Harmony and find myself transformed by the sounds and lyrics on the CD thus creating the previously mentioned flashback to my Wellness Conference days.  There are always connections in our lives, sutras or threads that connect our various experiences.

According to the American Music Therapy Association, “Music Therapy is an established health profession in which music is used within a therapeutic relationship to address physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs of individuals. After assessing the strengths and needs of each client, the qualified music therapist provides the indicated treatment including creating, singing, moving to, and/or listening to music.”  In most of my yoga classes, I only play music during relaxation unless I am trying to create a certain mood or environment for learning or experiencing.  When I practice yoga on my own I often like to listen to music, especially music by Krishna Das or Deva Premal.  What I have found however is that I choose Krishna Das when I want a more vigorous practice and Deva Premal when I am looking for a slower paced or more meditative practice. 

Here are some of my favorite pieces/albums for creating a quiet contemplative state of being:

  • ·         Chanting Om Volume 2
  • ·         Chakra Balancing Body, Mind & Soul
  • ·         Chidananda by Deva Premal
  • ·         Gayatri Mantra by Cynthia Snodgras
  • ·         Sacred Space by Sawna Carol
  • ·         Ram Chant by Vandita Kate Marchiesello

I also love to listen to music that increases my energy or allows me to throw myself into my practice, walking or even cleaning the house:

  • ·         Roar by Groove Bomb
  • ·         Brave Faith by Jana Stanfield
  • ·         Eye of the Tiger by Survivor
  • ·         Holding out for a Hero (Glee cast version)
  • ·         Ready to Run by the Dixie Chicks
  • ·         Strong by Kelly Clarkson
  • ·         Today is Gonna Be a Great Day by  Koz
  • ·         True Colors by Cyndi Lauper
  • ·         Wide Awake by Katy Perry

It’s still fun to create your own playlists but if that feels too time consuming you can also use Pandora and itunes Radio to create your own listening stations.

Share some of your favorite songs/playlists with us!




Waking up with joy!


When I rolled over and opened my eyes this morning, the clock read 5:30am.  Ahhhh…I felt such relief in my body and a moment of joy, it wasn’t 4:00am which has been my waking time for the last few weeks.  Waking at 4am creates a totally difference experience than 5:30.  I realized I fell asleep while reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin probably about 9:45 or 10pm.  My body was awake and ready to go.  I got up, cleaned my tongue and drank my hot water with lemon and then set to get to a few emails and work tasks before waking my son.  At 6:18am I heard the coffee pot start to awaken and proceeded to finish up my work in the next 10 to 15 minutes.  The dogs sleeping easily at my feet awoke when I left my desk; I am sure thinking it was time for breakfast.  After turning on the lights, I began to consider my son’s lunch for the day, I know he is almost 12 but making his lunch, providing a nutritious meal for his mid-day brings me joy.  Seeing the dogs excitement (actual pacing between their food bowl and the kitchen) I moved to feed them their morning meal.  Once that was done, I quietly went into my son’s room which was a disaster by the way, but that didn’t bother me today, right now in his pre-teen years this is his room, it can be how he’d like it to be (this is my mantra of late).  I felt great joy and gratitude in just watching him sleep for a few moments, so similar to when he was little and yet such a larger body filling the bed.  I touched his arm and said it was time to stretch and move and prepare for the day.  After waking, I gave him his breakfast choices – cereal or French toast with sausage, which do you think he chose?  Yes, I still make his breakfast.  This is one meal when I am not travelling that I know we will sit across the table from one another and share.  One more joy I get every day.  I thought after dropping him at school I would take the dog for a short walk before continuing through my work day.  As I put on my socks and shoes the dog was almost leaping with his own joy knowing he was going out.   On the very short drive home from dropping my son at school I felt happy and content.  It truly is the small things in our life that create aliveness, wholeness and joy.

Share what small things bring you joy!




Today I start my next trip around the sun

Today, December 6, is the day of my birth and it is the first time in a long time that I am not home.  When I awoke this morning I let my gratitude be about my last trip around the sun.  I chose to practice this morning listening to a Kripalu teacher, Grace Jull, who has the most delicious way of using language.  I wanted this language to feed my body and soul as I start this new trip around the sun.

As I sit on my mat at Debra’s house in Georgia (thank you D. for your graciousness), I am looking through a window at an amazing, large tree full of branches.  And like me, the tree is in transition.   Beautiful leaves holding on but also waiting to let go.  With the encouragement of the wind, they are releasing.

Here’s to using language to feed my soul this year and allowing a letting go of things no longer needed.

Happy Birthday to me.