Day 16: 21 Day Yoga Challenge

Written by Lyndi Horn on September 29th 2015.

Practice Pose: Downward Facing Dog {Adho Mukha Svanasana}

  • Begin on your hands and knees. Align your wrists directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips. The fold of your wrists should be parallel with the top edge of your mat. Point your middle fingers directly to the top edge of your mat.
  • Stretch your elbows and relax your upper back.
  • Spread your fingers wide and press firmly through your palms and knuckles. Distribute your weight evenly across your hands.
  • Exhale as you tuck your toes and lift your knees off the floor. Reach your pelvis up toward the ceiling, then draw your sit bones toward the wall behind you. Gently begin to straighten your legs, but do not lock your knees. Bring your body into the shape of an "A." Imagine your hips and thighs being pulled backwards from the top of your thighs. Do not walk your feet closer to your hands — keep the extension of your whole body.
  • Press the floor away from you as you lift through your pelvis. As you lengthen your spine, lift your sit bones up toward the ceiling. Now press down equally through your heels and the palms of your hands.
  • Firm the outer muscles of your arms and press your index fingers into the floor. Lift from the inner muscles of your arms to the top of both shoulders. Draw your shoulder blades into your upper back ribs and toward your tailbone. Broaden across your collarbones.
  • Rotate your arms externally so your elbow creases face your thumbs.
  • Draw your chest toward your thighs as you continue to press the mat away from you, lengthening and decompressing your spine.
  • Engage your quadriceps. Rotate your thighs inward as you continue to lift your sit bones high. Sink your heels toward the floor.
  • Align your ears with your upper arms. Relax your head, but do not let it dangle. Gaze between your legs or toward your navel.
  • Hold for 5-10 breaths.
  • To release, exhale as you gently bend your knees and come back to your hands and knees.

Today's Recipe

Ingredients:

    3 cups (about 400g) raw shelled sunflower seeds
    1/4 cup coconut sugar
    2 tablespoons virgin coconut oil, softened
    Pinch of pink Himalayan sea salt or other fine sea salt, to taste
    1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, or to taste (optional)
    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    1 vanilla bean, seeded or 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla bean powder (optional)

Method:

Preheat oven to 325F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and spread on the seeds in an even layer. Roast for 9-12 minutes, until some of the seeds are lightly golden. Cool the seeds for a few minutes before using.

Meanwhile, add the sugar into a high speed blender and grind until a powder forms. Leave the lid on and set aside so the “dust” can settle.

Spoon the toasted seeds into a heavy-duty food processor. (I like to spoon the seeds into my measuring cup and transfer them that way. When I have about 1/2 cup of seeds left on the pan I will use the parchment paper to “funnel” the remaining seeds into the processor.)

Process the seeds for a few minutes, stopping to scrape the bowl every minute. It will look dry and powdery at this stage. (If you have a chute, you can leave it open to allow steam to escape.)

Add the coconut oil and process for another couple minutes. The butter will clump together into a large ball and it'll start rattling around for a bit. Then, the ball will eventually break down into butter again. Stop to scrape down the bowl as needed.

Now, add in the ground sugar, salt, and cinnamon. Process for another few minutes until smooth. Now, slowly stream in the vanilla while processing. Add in the vanilla bean seeds, if using. You can add a touch more oil if you need to thin out the butter (but do not add water or liquid sweetener because it will seize). I like to let the machine run at least another 2 minutes to get the sunflower seed butter super smooth. I process for a total of about 8 minutes, but timing will vary based on your food processor and preference. Some machines may need to run for upwards of 15 minutes to get the seed butter smooth enough.

Transfer the sunflower seed butter into an air-tight container. Chill in the fridge. Here it'll keep for about 2 months and it will remain “spreadable” even when chilled.

Remember to use hashtags #yam21daychallenge and/or #yamsthejam if you post your own pic on Facebook or Instagram!

 

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