Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins Followed by Story-time Yoga

A rainy fall weekend called for indoor story-time yoga with friends. I'm often amazed how much kids know about yoga and how little adults realize how often they are practicing it. We started off in sukasana (easy seated pose) and worked on breathing. I remember learning so much about kids (specifically babies) breathing when I was going through teacher training. The one thing that adults really need to work on is how they breathe as we all breathe with such shallow breaths. 

Today I was sitting and enjoying coffee with a friend and the topic of yoga came up and I was entertained by what he thought the definition was. I'm not saying that it was wrong by any means, but it totally fit into the whole Americanized version of yoga today. I think back to that piece written by T.K.V. Desikachar in, Health, Healing, and Beyond, and I'm reminded of how much more there is beyond the moving practice. "Yoga is the ability to direct the mind exclusively toward an object and sustain that direction without any distractions." I sat in class this morning and could not focus. I was forcing that ujjayi breath, trying to escape reality, and just couldn't completely check out. That idea of being able to direct my mind to just one thing, specifically for me today it was my dedication, was just not happening. 

The more I thought about it, I couldn't let go of the fact that not once did we even discuss focus in the class with the kiddos. But the ways we worked together to try and get them to breathe seemed so silly, yet played a significant role in the success of the class. In yoga you inhale and elongate and on your exhale you settle in. We used a parachute high above our heads for the inhales and then folded forward and collapsed for the exhales along with the parachute at our ankles. Looking back I ask myself of a way to do that for adults as we often have much more on our plates to let go of before breathing becomes the focus. It's that whole, "the impossible becomes possible," piece from Desikachar. 

Bella napped on the way home and as we pulled into the garage, the only suitable after yoga activity to me was to make pumpkin chocolate chip muffins. If you want a simple and super easy recipe that also happens to be a rather healthy option, look no further. After making the muffins, I grabbed my Health, Healing, and Beyond book and started back at the beginning again. I think it's one of those books that I will never be able to get rid of. 

1 C pumpkin puree

1/2 C pure maple syrup

2 eggs

1 T vanilla extract

4 T almond butter

1/4 C unsweetened vanilla almond milk

2 1/4 cup rolled oats 

1 TSP baking powder

1/2 TSP basking soda

1/2 TSP salt

1 TSP cinnamon

1/2 C dark chocolate chips 

Preheat the oven to 350F and use some "cutie patootie and spooky" liners in your muffin pan(Bella's words).

Mix all of the wet ingredients first (pumpkin, eggs, syrup, etc.) and layer them in the blender, and then top with all of the dry ingredients except for the chocolate chips. Blend for about 30 seconds or until it's smooth. 

Slowly mix the chips into the batter and then pour the batter into the liners. Fill each about 3/4 of the way full and bake in the oven for about 22 minutes or until light golden brown. (I made 12 minis and 6 of the regular size just to have the variety.)

Allow them to cool for at least 10 minutes before your try them (yes, I know that this is not easy!) Let me know what you think, Warriors! I highly recommend them with a cup of hot coffee or ice cold water! Ha. 

Love + light, 

Maria 

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