I’ve practiced Bikram Yoga religiously for many years. If you are not familiar, Bikram is a form of Hatha yoga, consisting of 26 poses practiced for 90 minutes in a room that is 100 degrees + and high humidity. In fact, Bikram Choudry himself, refers to the class as a torture chamber. Personally, I loved it. Loved the heat, loved the discipline of the poses, loved how my skin glowed at the end of class. I even loved sweating so much because it felt like I was deep cleaned.
Such a fanatic was I that I arranged for a first date, who scoffed at the challenge this form of yoga posed, to accompany me to a Bikram class, and then I would buy dinner. My date was a good sport and powered through for about 60 minutes, then without a word, a nod, or a post-it note, he left. Needless to say, we never made it to dinner. Nor did call again. Oh well. I’d do it again in a heartbeat!
I recently learned that you can get similar benefits from the poses without entering the “torture chamber”. Practicing outside in the sunshine, feeling the wind on my skin, I still reap amazing benefits.
Yoga Journal has an amazing article on the many benefits of Hatha yoga. Check it out here and you too will be hooked!
Then, keep the good energy going after class with a big, steaming bowl of red lentil coconut curry soup. Spicy, rich, and exotic, this is seriously good stuff.
Red Lentil Coconut Curry Soup
Serves 6 – 8
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 medium onion, minced
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
- 2 carrots, grated
- 2 red bell peppers, chopped
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (adjust to your heat tolerance)
- 2 – 3 tablespoons curry powder (more to taste)
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 1/2 cups lentils, rinsed until water runs clean
- 8 cups vegetable broth
- 1-15oz can of diced tomatoes
- 1-6oz can tomato paste
- 2 cans light coconut milk (not the kind in the carton)
- Dash salt and pepper
Saute onion, garlic, and ginger in the coconut oil over medium heat until onions are translucent and mixture is very fragrant. Add the carrots and red pepper and saute until soft.
Add spices and continue to saute for 3-4 minutes.
Add lentils and vegetable broth and simmer for 10 minutes.
Add diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and coconut milk, and simmer for 30 minutes.
If desired, you can remove 3 cups and puree in a blender, then add back to the pot for a thicker soup.
Give it a whirl. Nourish your body with this warm, comforting soup, kick back, and read the Yoga Journal article. Then take your next date to a yoga class – make it Bikram. It will be all good (well, as the song states, “Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad”).