If you go to different yoga classes across the country, you will begin to notice that each city, studio, teacher and style has its own flavor. In Bikram yoga, you sweat in silence as you press through a series of 26 standard poses. With Jivamukti, be prepared to chant kirtan before entering creatively transitions. If you choose Vinyasa/Hatha Flow, expect to flow with the breath in a cardio-intensive practice. When you lay out all the different class options it seems as though, one must take an online quiz to discover “your ideal yoga style”. How very un-yogi! 🙂
In my experience with various yoga studios and styles I noticed it was not the terminology and sequence that mattered. It was the teacher. Each yoga teacher carries to class not only their training but also their personalities and wisdom. No two teachers are exactly alike. Take my home studio, Yogaview in Chicago, IL, for instance. If I want to relax and unwind I seek out Tom Quinn. If I need to wear a bikini soon, I reach for Claire Mark. Geri Bleier makes me feel loved, and Quinn Kearney reminds me to be playful. Individual and unique instructors add their own distinct flavor to the pot and, when blended together in one studio, make a balanced and beautiful community.
Recently, I was told by a student that my teaching style was a “slow burn”. I initially was taken aback by this comment, assuming it was a negative impression on my style. But the more I listened to the student, the more I understood. My class was a constant push and pull between strengthening and stretching, letting internal heat build and release over and over again. I could spend my day trying to be a “quick fire” teacher, but I could never achieve at with success. To be my true self, to honor my parusha, I need to own my slow-burning, energy-building flavor.
Below is my long simmering, hearty, warming onion soup recipe. Perfect to celebrate a Fall day.
Slow Burn Onion Soup
4 medium yellow onions
2 Tbs olive oil
4 cloves fresh garlic, thinly sliced
8 cups beef broth
1/2 cup dry red wine or sherry
1 Tbs dried thyme
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 package puff pastry, thawed according to box directions
1 cup gruyere cheese, finely shredded
Salt and pepper
Place olive oil in a large pot over medium-low heat. Thickly slice onions (~1/2 inch thick) and place in pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes or until onions begin to soften. Add garlic and season with salt and pepper. Cook 10 minutes until onions caramelize and turn a soft golden color. Increase heat to medium-high. Add red wine and stir until liquid is almost gone. Add beef broth and dried thyme and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400. Cover a baking sheet in parchment paper, and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Cut puff pastry into 3-inch rounds with a cookie cutter (or if you’re me this is actually the mouth of a water glass). Beat egg with 1 Tbs water. Lightly brush puff pastry with the egg wash, then sprinkle the pasty with fresh thyme, gruyere, salt and pepper. Bake until pastry puffs up and the tops turn a golden brown (~8 minutes). Remove pastry and let cool.
Serve soup with a puff pastry round floating in the middle. If you really like cheese, I recommend shredding extra gruyere to sprinkle over the soup. Enjoy!