Festival Yoga; Where’s Wallydo? A People-Game; festival & camp food

OMG….AumMG, or ALLMG—I can’t believe I just lost all that writing…just when you think you got the best thing you ever wrote down, just when I was beginning to think, this is cool…zap. It just suddenly dissappears. Now I have to try to recreate it…2 hours later.uugh. must try…

This is about festival yoga, not to be mistaken with a yoga festival. This is about how festivals can be yogic. I often have wonderful yogic experiences at festivals and even though it wasn’t the best Canada Day I have ever attended, tonight I was moved to share…

Thankfully, I am still fairly energized, despite it being 3 am. (and despite the lack of sleep last night too), I am energized by being with so many souls who were sharing a certain level of shared or common consciousness at the Canada Day festivities on the lawn of the legislature tonight.

Shared consciousness is an interesting thing to contemplate at festivals. I have noticed that the degree of shared or common-consciousness seems to reveal itself in the way the vast majority acts. For instance and in particular, how they respect or accept others and respect personal space and property. People walk carefully around your blankets and belongings, and no matter who they are, if you talk to them, they are friendly, open and accepting. Fortunately this characterizes most festivals, it is what makes a festival–a festival. That’s why festivals can feel magical and are prime ground for some profound yogic insights and experiences.

On Canada Day, I particularly love the way the thousands of weird, wacky and unusual, red and white outfits cut strong contrast against the perfectly deep green of the meticulously trimmed legislature lawn; it is chaos against control, it is practically surreal and lends a rare, superficial “oneness” to a rather large and disparate body of individuals. This spontaneous, voluntary and positive form, is something we don’t experience everyday.

When I look at this mass of humanity, I like to think of them as various cells of single living organism, on Canada Day there are a few random coloured ones, but the majority are red/white cells…(ironically like red & white blood cells)
As with any living organism, all these cells are ultimately made of the same stuff: food & water (earthstuff); and are driven by the same energy: life, love & breath (pranastuff). But when you look closer you can clearly see via outer manifestations, that each cell has its own individualize and unique configuration of consciousness or soulstuff. While each one clearly a unique soul, they are all momentarily and obviously being connected by a certain level of shared conscious awareness, in this case awareness of Canadianhood and festivalhood.

Oftentimes when I attend a festival, I try to practice ultimate non-judgement, trying to see all the experiences and people around me as neutral, its hard not to judge people when they are wearing and doing “crazy” things (that’s judgement right there!) It is interesting how much of people’s egos and concomitant limitations become revealed to you, when you are not judging but just observing with heightened awareness and deep compassion–you can almost sense the issues they have faced and have shaped them. Once I see this clearly, I am moved to meditate, and to gather loving energy into my heart chakra and to send out blessings to the group en-masse. Usually I do this thru dancing and visualizing the loving energy being sent out thru my arms and hands

Furthermore, I like to imagine what it would take for everyone to find and operate from an even deeper level of common consciousness. What would that be like once it happened? What if everyone suddenly saw themselves as cells of the same living organism?

Sometimes I see that feeling arise in people. It happens more near the front of the stage where people are dancing altogether. When I dance with others who really dance (and I don’t mean “look good”, I mean “giv’er good”) I get a strong sense of our individual consciousnesses aligning. This often happens at festivals; by simply letting the rhythm and message of the song penetrate our soul we feel a closer resonance with each other within the field of consciousness; it brings us into a blissful and welcomed entrainment with each other. Tonight I found myself entrained to the amazing African dancers on the stage and boy did we dance–and when they spoke in french I felt french too! Energetically echoing their shout-out, “Oui! Merci Beaucoup Victoria!!”–and when I walked away and forgot my purse among the dancers; I was not panicked, sensing somehow that it would still be safe–and it was.

The other bands did not have me dancing so much–save for Trees & Towers–whose song “I have been released” is definitely going on my yoga dance playlist. So tonight I made up a game, a people-game. Actually I might not have been the first to make-up this game–I am making no claim, but I would like to suggest some rules for a game which is not only super fun but could enhance the shared consciousness experience at any festival.

First I want to say “Hat’s Off” to the creators of what we call “Where’s Waldo” and in Australia they call “Where’s Wally”; and since my first test-players were Australians I’ll call this game “Where’s Wallydo”–its very easy to play, for any age, and needs no equipment.

One friend bows their head to count to 60 (or more) at the tens they should put a finger up–telling their buddies how far along they are…meanwhile their buddies scatter among the crowd and find new seats where they can clearly see the counter/finder-(on occasion, they may have to move to stay visible)-in other words, hide in plain sight.

They will likely find, that they need to ask permission to sit next to some strangers, or at least have to explain their presence to a fellow festivaller–sharing & promoting this friendly game even more. It is a good opportunity to have a nice little chat with an erstwhile stranger, while keeping your eye on the c/finder. When the c/finder sees you they raise their hand at you, and you rejoin them and also begin the silent search for those not yet found, each person gaining points for those they find first, or gaining a point for not being found.

If you are not found, you should raise your two hands until someone sees you, proving that you were in plain sight.

Ultimately the best hiders will likely be those who can integrate themselves the best with the strangers in the crowd, in other words; the more friendly you can become, the more camouflage you will gain.

It is important for conscious people to connect as much as possible with other people, ALL people, to build and grow a bigger web of consciousness. In time, this will be the only way to shift humanity into a new paradigm of living in consciousness; we know webs are stronger than they look.

A good Festival is one where people feel strong communitas. Communitas is a Latin noun commonly referring either to an unstructured community in which people are equal, or to the very spirit of community. It also has special significance as a loanword in cultural anthropology and the social sciences.
noun from Anthropology .
The sense of sharing and intimacy that develops among persons who experience liminality as a group

Liminalty, in terms of social structure and time, is an intermediate state of being “in between” in which individuals are striped from their usual identity and their constituting social differences while being on the verge of personal or social transformation.

A great Festival is positive and prime ground for liminalty and the bringing on of a strong sense of communitas. It can provide a good, living example of personal and social transformations. Great festivals can give us a benchmark of new rules and behaviour. Rules and behaviours we might want seek to emulate in wider and normal daily life.

Since our Hugelkulture garden is going-off like crazy, my Summer Festival & Camping Food, uses plenty of organic veggies: (sorry no pictures yet)

onion & garlic, made translucent by frying in
coconut oil, then add
curry paste & solid coconut cream
boiled potatoes, not stirred too much so that they brown, add
chopped chard
& basil

salt & pepper, to taste.

with or without CHUTNEY


grill a variety of veg:
zucchini, onion, eggplant, mushroom, peppers–cool and chop, add to
cooked penne pasta, add
chopped chard
plenty of purslane (if you have it)
quartered canned or marinated artichoke hearts
black olives
minced basil
feta & parmesan (or similar)
almonds slivers or pumpkin seeds

dress with:
crushed garlic in salt, with olive oil & lemon juice
add salt & pepper to taste.


Pomegranate Mandarin Quinoa Salad w/ Sesame Honey Lime vinaigrette & Potato Salad

Confusing? perhaps. But, this delicious quinoa salad goes great with sesame honey lime vinaigrette, and so does a very simple sweet & regular potato salad…so I included them both.

w /sesame honey lime vinaigrette

thin sliced & chopped sweet Spanish onion
thin sliced & chopped red peppers
drained can of mandarins (or chopped mango)
¼ cup pomegranate pods (or chopped strawberries)
¼ cup toasted almond slivers
¼ cup chopped feta cheese
1c cooked quinoa
toss altogether with a drizzle of Sesame Honey Lime Vinaigrette or serve dressing on the side
serve on bed of baby greens/or just spinach
endnov 094

1 clove garlic crushed with salt
1tbs honey
1tbs mayo
1/4c Olive oil
+/- 1-2 tbs Lime juice
black, white and/or toasted sesame seeds

Dice and boil 1 regular potato and 2 sweet potatoes (not yams…)

add optional: parsley, cilantro, black beans, corn, red peppers, green onions, jalepenos

TOSS in Sesame Honey Lime Vinaigrette

1001 ways to cook butternut squash (okay I exaggerate…quite a few)

garden 101
Yeah, I grew a few too many butternut squash this year….but what a lovely vegetable to work with, so many options from sweet to savory.

    • –can be made vegan

      split and roast a good size squash…

      simmer ONIONS & GARLIC in 1/4 cup OLIVE OIL & 2tbs BUTTER
      when golden, add add 1cup QUINOA simmer for 5 minutes
      garden 081

      BUTTERNUT SQUASH QUICHE–makes TWO deep dish pie shells
      food pics 010

      • –this quiche has the same taste sensation as the lasagna further below, with lots of extra protein…
    • food pics 029
      2c roasted butternut squash, then cut up small
      2c chopped greens (spinach, chard, beet greens)
      4 2inch sprigs of sage–finely minced
      1/2 cup caramelized (fried crispy-brown edges) onions-thin sliced, fried in butter 2tbsp
      1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
      1 cup of milk
      1/2c flour
      1/2 cup Parmesan
      fresh mozzarella (the soft ball/log kind–sliced into thin rounds)
      8 eggs
      salt & pepper
      ready made deep dish pie shells

      blend all ingredients (except fresh mozarella) in big bowl, divide between two pie shells, top with mozzarella rounds, salt & pepper the top
      cook for 45min at 350 or so…check for center firmness.
      food pics 031

      –this cake was so yummy, fruity, nutty & moist that it got snapped up, it didn’t even have icing!

      Here is a picture of the apx. size squash to use–cube, steam & mash 3 cups of raw-diced squash


      DRY bowl:
      2c whole wheat flour
      1/2c oats/flax
      1c +2-3tbsp brown sugar
      2tsp cinnamon
      1tsp nutmeg
      1c combination of: almond slivers/hazel nuts/chia seeds/pumpkin seeds
      3+tbsp poppyseeds
      1/2 cup minimal process cranberries
      rind of 2 large navel oranges done on cheese grater for long strips
      2tsp baking soda

      WET bowl:

      4 large eggs
      2tbs vanilla
      1c grapeseed oil
      3c raw-cubed butternut squash, steamed & mashed
      juice & chopped pulp from 2 large navel oranges (pith excluded–as in photo)


      blend without over-mixing and bake for 45-50 minutes at 350degrees in a greased rectangle cake pan…or until firm in center and stick comes out clean.
      Great alone, as a breakfast cake with coffee or tea…or iced with orange-cream cheese icing

      Continue reading
    • Rich Chanterelle Soup

      food pics 020
      You don’t come across a good load of Chanterelle Mushrooms that often, so when you do–you’ve just got to indulge!! The delicate & delicious taste of chanterelles combined with saffron, sherry, cream & parmesan makes this soup a true treat!

      You will have to adjust the volume, depending on how many mushrooms you have–I got lucky with a treasure trove and made a large pot to share with the picker…


      lightly brown your CHOPPED CHANTERELL MUSHROOMS in a few tbsps of BUTTER in separate frying pan…add this to the stock pot (include the butter drippings)

      Add a pinch or two of SAFFRON

      shake a jar with MILK & FLOUR (eg: cup of milk + 4tbsp of flour) add it to the soup pot,
      Add WATER (this will make the soup cool and allow for the eggs to be introduced)
      Blend well with immersion blender
      finish with SHERRY to taste
      adjust seasoning

      eat up, don’t count calories…this is forest gold!!


      Julyfood 091

      This salad is delicious, with added almonds and cocount it is high in protein & vitamines, low in fat, and so beautiful it looks like dessert. I have see it turn non-tuna eaters into tuna eaters, non-mango eaters into mango-eaters.
      Its a real go to recipe…1 can of tuna & 1 ripe mango easily makes 2 generous servings…

      lightly toast about 1/4c ALMOND SLIVERS in a dry pan over low-med heat–watch carefully

      Dice A ripe MANGO (cut off the stem, stand it up and peel off skin with knife, find the direction the pit is oriented run the knife down and along side of it filleting the mango off the pit, cut the excess from the pit) dice into smallish pieces.

      Drain a can of WATER-PACKED TUNA

      Make a salad bed of FRESH GREENS (eg:SPINACH & ROMAINE–for crispness)
      add thin slice SWEET SPANISH ONIONS & RED PEPPER

      Make salad dressing: 1 parts BALSAMIC, 2 part OLIVE OIL, tablespoon of MILD OR SPICY CURRY PASTE, S&P to taste

      lightly drizzle a little dressing on the greens & toss (do not overdo it…it wont need lots)
      lightly drizzle a little on the tuna & toss (again, don’t overdo it)

      Create the individual salads BY LAYERING:
      finally top with SHREDDED COCONUT

      BEAUTIFUL! Just wait till you taste it….

      Green Beans, Eggplant & Chickpeas…vegan delite!

      garden 150

      garden 155

      This easy recipe is a healthy vegan option, it is not very precise–you can do more or less of everything…it is a take on a traditional Lebanese dish and is usually eaten HOT or COLD pinched in pita bread, but is nice on its own or on rice…the secret for the best taste is in copious amounts of alspice and letting it sit for a while, it tastes even better a day later!

      In a wok or deep sauce pan fry 1C chopped SPANISH ONION in 1/4c of OLIVE OIL add plenty (6-8cloves) of CHOPPED GARLIC and continue simmering, when onions are soft and golden, add a couple of cups of CUBED EGGPLANT, trim and chop about 2 cups FRESH LONG GREEN BEANS add when eeggplant begins to soften; add 1 lg can or several DICED TOMATOES, and half can of TOMATO PASTE, add plenty of SALT & PEPPER & about 2-3 tbsp of ALSPICE, cover and simmer until beans are tender….adjust seasoning & serve.

      A to Z the “Abundance of Zucchini”–a sweet & spicy take on the old zuke

      >garden food 015garden food 023
      August is coming to an end and zucchini is abundant, hence the need arises to invent some new recipes to use up these lovely long green things…

      Using lots of fresh-from-the-garden goodies I made the most delicious LASAGNA I have ever had– twice!

      But, First I went sweet, and found most zucchini breads/cakes/loaf recipes used only a little over 1 cup of zucchini—that’s not enough! I wanted to use MORE! and I had alot of other stuff to use up in the fridge too, like sour cream, lemons and blackish bananas. So, I got busy and TA DA! introducing…..a moist, delicious, sweet, & actually quite HEALTHY cake….full of fruit & veggies, whole grains and some protein


      (i cant decide…maybe something like “summer-harvest” cake)

        first bowl:

      2 cup whole wheat flour
      1 cup of ground flax (i used golden, but I’m sure it doesn’t matter)
      2 teaspoons baking soda
      2/3c cranberries (if you get minimally-processed ones…extra excellent!)
      2/3c shredded coconut (or more, http://www.coconutresearchcenter.org/)
      2/3c sugar (more or less to your liking)
      3 tbsp poppy seeds (or more, http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/benefits-poppy-seeds-5632.html)
      1/2tsp salt
      note to self: next time add 1/2 cup slivered almonds, adds protein & couldn’t hurt!

      second bowl:

      4 large eggs (protein baby!)
      1/2c sour cream (next time I will use yogurt–less fat, more protein)
      2c shredded zucchini (one good medium sized)
      2 mashed ripe bananas (medium size)
      2 tsp vanilla
      1/4c grapeseed oil
      zest of one lemon (or orange, or both)
      juice of one lemon (or one orange, about 4 tbsp)

      mix contents of both bowls together & bake till golden & firm in center
      350 degrees for about 35 minutes or more…depends on your cake pan–could make muffins or loaf, but definitely watch your time…


      1/3c cream cheese, 1/4c butter, 1/2 c icing sugar, tbsp of lemon juice (in this case I used “realemon”) rind of 1/2 orange or a few chopped cranberries–makes it extra pretty & tasty

      Sesame-Encrusted Tofu with stir-fry Vegetables



      Follow this order to make this beautiful meal in 20 minutes or less(not including the rice):

      Make a batch of rice or noodles

        First make the sauce:

      simmer minced GARLIC & GINGER in SESAME OIL & CHILI OIL in small pot till aromatic
      (I often use AKI’s Jar Ginger & Garlic–but don’t recommend any other jar garlic)then add 1-2 cups of WATER (depending on how much you want to make…)
      add 1-2 VEG BROTH CUBES (you can also add a little sachet of dashi…if you have it)
      some SUGAR
      CHILI OIL and/or CHILI FLAKE to add spiciness
      powdered CORN or POTATO STARCH (shake a few tablespoons in a little jar of water & then add)
      stir occassionally while simmering until thickens, adjust seasoning

        prepare garnish of either

      : green ONIONS/CHIVES/CILANTRO–or mixed–set aside

        chop vegetables and set aside:</ul>

          KING OYSTER MUSHROOMS (or other)
          EGGPLANT & other VEGETABLES
          (brocolli, cauliflower, peppers, gai lan, sui choy, carrots, whatever…)

            Prepare Tofu Nuggets

          Dry& Cut FIRM TOFU (sometimes I use previously frozed & squeezed tofu, this has a great texture)

            make sesame crusting with:

          CORN or POTATO STARCH (about 1/2 cup, for one package of tofu)
          SALT & PEPPER (to taste)
          CHILI FLAKE (if you like spiciness)
          NATURAL, BLACK & TOASTED SESAME SEEDS (few tablespoons or more if you like)
          dredge tofu nuggets and fry on med-high in GRAPESEED OR PEANUT OIL
          Keep tofu nuggets warm in a toaster over or re-heat in frying pan just befor serving
          (these tofu nuggets can be cut like fingers and served as a side dish with dip…)

            Stir-fry Vegetables

          Fry Mushrooms (set aside) then Fry Eggplants, when done re-add mushrooms and other veg and continue frying until all vegetables are tender.

          Serve Vegetables on bed of rice or noodles, top with sauce and hot tofu nuggets & garnish

          see SUN LOTUS YOGA SANCTUARY FACEBOOK PAGE for more photos…https://www.facebook.com/SunLotusYogaSanctuary

      Apple Chipotle Cheddar soup

      endmay-june 017
      Having a ton of apples to deal with at the cafe, I decided to create an apple soup that was hearty, sweet’n spicy, delicious and nutritious…Now its a big hit …enjoy!

      fry lots of ONIONS & GARLIC and small chopped CARROTS in olive oil, with SALT & PEPPER
      add 2 cubes of non-msg VEG BROTH CUBES
      add 8 peeled & chopped APPLES (any kind…)
      add equal amount of chopped SWEET POTATO (not yams…which are orange)
      top with water & boil until tender, then blend
      then add for texture & colour:
      shredded REGULAR POTATO (about 1 average size)
      shredded CARROT (about 1-2 average)
      finely diced RED PEPPER
      cook until tender
      add CREAM or MILK
      finely chopped CILANTRO OR PARSLEY
      finely minced CHIPOTLE PEPPER to taste (seeds removed, use fork and knife–see picture)

      using canned chipotle pepper in adobe sauce, hold with fork, split and scrape out seeds...then finely chop until its mush

      using canned chipotle pepper in adobe sauce, hold with fork, split and scrape out seeds…then finely chop until its mush

      endmay-june 022

      Mexican “Lasagna” (gluten-free) & Burritos & Zesty Enchilada Sauce

      1mexican lasagna ready
       METHOD (For more photos see Sun Lotus Yoga Sanctuary facebook page)

      Cube yams & toss in olive oil, (optional: with crushed garlic) cayenne & chili powder, salt and pepper & roasted in oven tray until tender–25 minutes (these roasted yams make a tasty side dish on their own…)

      note: sweet potatoes are yellowish, yams quite orange…often mislabelled

       Cook Quinoa 1:1 with boiled water, simmered on low until tender

       Make stuffing by mixing together:

      Cooled roasted yams

      cooled cooked quinoa(or brown rice)

      frozen corn

      black beans (i used canned, but you could soak and cook your own)

      sliced black olives (these are the very mild canned ones)

      diced sweet onions

      diced red pepper (or any other sweet and/or spicy peppers)

      shredded cheddar/jack cheese

      lots of chopped cilantro leaf & stalk (-the stalk has more flavour than leaf sometimes)

      couple of dashes of lime juice, salt and pepper



      fry a fair amount of chopped garlic in puddle of olive oil, add fair amount of chili powder, after simmering for 5-10 minutes,

      add jar of strained Italian tomatoes

      add a tbsp or more of minced canned-chipotle peppers—(few seeds if any)

      add dash of chipotle hot sauce (the vinegary kind)

      after simmering for short time, remove from heat and add chopped cilantro

      salt to taste


      Method: beginning with thin layer of sauce, layer corn tortillas with cheese & filling & sauce,

      Top last tortillas with borders of chipotle sauce, and a thick stripe of green tomatilllo salsa down the middle then sprinkle with cheese., bake for 30-40 minutes.


      Alternative: wrap in whole wheat tortillas and wax paper and freeze stored in the old “tortilla bag”–defrost, heat for 30-40 minutes, top with enchilada sauce, green or red salsa, sour cream or plain yogurt