arugula salad with fried haloumi + peaches

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Your ego and ambition will be your ruin. Someone told me this once, said it slowly and quietly, as I nursed a torn hamstring back to health. I winced my way through poses and found I could only bend over so far. Everything hurt back then because I was the sort of person who dissected a moment and saw what it could be, rather than what it was. All the clocks were wound five minutes fast, and I lived in the odd space between this moment and a time that was in my periphery. It was as if I was in two places, here, but not quite, and never really there.

Here I was practicing yoga for seven years and I still didn’t know how to be present. I breathed through the dark spaces only as a means to get to the next pose. I endured rather than surrendered, and it was only until I incurred an injury in a pose I wasn’t ready to practice, that I realized that my ego was a hysterical blindness. I saw the shape of the pose, actually felt my body drift toward it, but the reality was a pulled hamstring in bound triangle pose and me smothering a whimper.

Because god forbid I hurt.

I’ve been thinking about ego lately as I’ve steadfastly returned to my practice, but have found that poses that were once effortless to be anything but, and although I know it’s insane to think that in a few short months I can bring back seven years of consistent, diligent work, but part of me always feels that during my practice. Part of me always says: I used to be able to drop-back. I used to be able to invert. Why can’t my body take this familiar shape?

I’m also reminded of a sweet afternoon spent with a friend and fellow yogi, Julia. Over croissants, she laughed and said, This is yoga practice, not yoga perfect, and I nodded and realized that the journey was in the work. The journey was a body receiving a breath and inching forward to a shape.

At the height of my practice, I was a deft back-bender who had open hips. Inversions were my peril and I was forever doomed with tight hamstrings. Forward bends were cruel and handstands were my private purgatory. Today I felt myself easing back, coming so close to a drop-back, and my teacher came over and said, Not yet. Give it some time. Time. The one thing that eludes me. The one thing I have to mindful of.

So this ego of mine is at bay, and instead I practice. Knowing that one day I’ll get there. But in the interim, I’ll have some fried cheese and peaches.

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INGREDIENTS: Serves 4
6 cups of wild arugula
1 package of haloumi, drained, cut into slices, 1/2 inch thick
1/2 cup chopped sundried tomatoes {the kind packed in olive oil}
3 peaches, sliced
1/2 cup blueberries
2 tbsp olive oil
Cracked pepper

DIRECTIONS
Toss all of the ingredients + serve. It’s as simple and delightful as that!

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