What! I know. I live in a city that founded Lululemon and harbours yoga studios on every block, and yet have never actually taken a class. I’ve done some poses, I suppose. I enjoy exercising, and with that, a lot of stretching. Apparently the “stretches” I’ve been doing all my life actually have names. Downward dog, child pose, cow, cat – those are all things I’ve done for years. I just called it stretching.
I’m sure one day I’ll pick up a mat and try out a hot yoga class, but until then I guess I’ll just continue stretching at home.
A lot of people I know who do yoga do it as a form of release, a form of meditation. I get it. There’s something to be said for meditation, whether it be sitting still in full buddha mode for 20 minutes, or simply just reading a book. I think it’s important to clear your mind, otherwise the stress can build up.
I’m a huge stress monster. To the outside world I always appear pretty calm and laid back, but I internalize everything, my mind wanders (usually to worst case scenarios) and it all just builds up until one tiny – usually meaningless – thing topples my mental jenga and I basically have a mini-meltdown which involves severe facial breakouts, eating a tub of ice cream, or having a quick cry in the bathroom at 1 in the morning. It doesn’t happen often, but it happens.
Since I tend to stress out a lot, I really try to decompress. Who knows, maybe yoga would be a great way for me to meditate, but my main stress relief is nature. Being in the woods or on a beach calms me greatly; nature is my reprieve. Nature makes me feel alive.
Hot sun tickling my skin, a warm breeze through my hair, the smell of a flowering blackberry bush, the sound of twigs cracking beneath my feet, sunshine filtering through thick green leaves, the humbling feeling of climbing a mountain, laying under a massive oak tree, or seeing a sunrise. That’s when I close my eyes, take deep breaths, and recharge. Meditate.
I’m lucky to live in a place where nature is so accessible. A ten-minutes walk from home leads me to a fantastic off-leash dog trail that straddles a river and goes on for a few miles. A fifteen-minute drive drops me off at the base of a mountain and the start of a hundred forest trails. My daily walk to work takes me briefly through a ravine and then along the harbour. My weekend hiking adventures keep me sane, and my annual summer camping trips are what I look forward to all year.
Sometimes, though, it’s hideously stormy out, or there’s just not enough time to explore outside. Sometimes, life just gets in the way.
On days like that, meditation can come in the form of a good cocktail.
I love mojitos, and I love rhubarb. The two of them together make a divine flavour combination – a fresh and minty drink with the subtle yet tangy flavour of rhubarb that’ll make your tastesbuds sing and your spirits soar.
The rhubarb syrup in this recipe yields a lot more than you’ll need for the actual drinks, but that’s a good thing! It stores well in a sealed container in the fridge and is wonderful in things other than cocktails. Try drizzling it over poundcake, scones, or ice cream. You can even freeze it in an ice cube tray to use in blended drinks!
|Rhubarb Mojitos|| |
- Rhubarb Syrup:
- 4 cups sliced rhubarb (about 4 large stalks)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup water
- 4 fresh mint leaves
- Juice from 1 large lime
- 2 oz rhubarb syrup
- 1 oz white rum
- club soda
- Rhubarb slices, for garnish (optional)
- Mint leaves, for garnish (optional)
- To make the syrup*, bring rhubarb, sugar, and water to a boil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20-25 minutes until rhubarb has broken down and mixture has thickened. Strain through a fine mesh sieve and transfer the strained syrup to a jar; seal and store in the fridge for up to 5 weeks.
- To make the mojitos, muddle mint leaves and lime juice in a highball glass. Fill glass with ice, then add the rhubarb syrup, rum, and top with club soda. Garnish with fresh mint leaves and a slice of rhubarb, if desired.