Knitting, Cooking and Hot Yoga
Updated: Dec 10, 2019
What a frustrating time.
I have been working on another blog post on positive discrimination for what feels like forever. I have been re-writing the same few pages for weeks now, but I can’t seem to be satisfied with the end project. It’s boring, that’s what it is. Furthermore, it’s been done before. Me writing about it seems a pointless task.
I have stepped a bit away from my usual routine. I write a lot less, partly due to my own laziness, partly due to other interests. I have started knitting. My grand-mother taught me when I was still a child and the Canadian weather reminded me of her. The cold keeps me inside for periods of time longer than I have grown used to, which threw me back to the times spent at my grand-mother’s house deep in the Belgian countryside. It seems only fitting I’d start up knitting again.
I have only knitted a scarf and a twisted headband so far, but I’m liking it. There is something incredibly soothing about knitting. Whenever my emotions start to run high, I start knitting and it magically gives me the space to consider my feelings more rationally. Repetitiveness tend to calm the mind as the body focusses on the task at hand. Furthermore, it is a very good activity to do while listening to podcasts, as you don’t need your eyes to follow a conversation – and as that’s another activity I do on a daily basis, knitting fits overall well with my current routine. Finally, the Canadian weather definitely calls for warm woolen clothes, so I have a wide range of useful projects I can complete. I love the idea of knitting my way through winter.
I am still at a point where I’m using Youtube tutorial to teach me how to do specific patterns. So far I’d say I’m comfortable doing knit and purl stitches – and one color only. You’ve got it right, I’m a real beginner. I still can’t understand written instructions, which all look gibberish to me. Still, the grandmother side of me is very happy with the results I have had so far. I mean, the color of the wool was gorgeous to start with.
I also cook more often than usual. I have started being attentive to using more seasonal and local products for my meals. I recently discovered a grocery shop off Wellington Street that specializes in local and organic products, the Herb and Spice Shop. I now have an easy access to all the ‘alternative’ food required to make those gluten-free, diary-free recipes. In addition, I have started baking a lot more, trying out alternative and healthier recipes for muffins, bread and cakes.
My new obsession is Ambitious Kitchen’s banana pumpkin muffins. The recipe uses bananas and maple syrup to naturally sweeten the muffins, allowing you to avoid any refined added sugar. I also use whole-wheat flour for extra fiber and almond milk instead of regular milk, making the muffins diary-free too. I have been making them on a regular basis for the past few weeks as I have been trying to use up the pumpkins I bought for Halloween. I have changed the recipe a bit, skipping the Macadamia topping for chocolate chips – because chocolate, duh. Well, let me tell you, they’re heaven on earth.
Finally, I really want to start going to hot yoga again. I discovered hot yoga just after arriving in Ottawa and I loved it. I started seeing results already after a few classes. I was becoming stronger, being able to hold poses for longer periods of time. My body was toning up and I even started seeing abs, which was definitely a first for me. I was sleeping well and my anxiety levels were kept at bay. If hot yoga were a cult, I’d be totally in it.
I have been eying a new studio a few blocks from my new home, PranaShanti Yoga Centre. The prices are more expensive than the one I used to go to – Elevate Yoga on Bank Street – but the location would be much more convenient. I have recently started working longer hours and I now only come back home after 7 pm. I simply do not have the time to go all the way to downtown anymore, so I just have to accept the higher prices. I think I’ll get PranaShanti Yoga welcome package to try it out – hopefully the quality of the classes will make the initial cost worth it.
Have I become a grandma myself? Based on my current lifestyle, I’d be tempted to say yes, haha. At the same time, Canadian winters call for cozy activities. Soon enough the temperatures will have dropped low enough that we’ll be able to start skating and skiing. I’m already looking forward to all the cooking that’ll automatically follow days spent outside.