September is National Yoga Month, and I have been all about celebrating this awesome month.
Recently, my local Lululemon store offered an outdoor yoga class. Two of my very awesome yoga friends were teaching, so I knew it would be a great class. Ten different teachers led us through 108 sun salutations.
It was a gorgeous morning. The sky was a such a beautiful shade of Caribbean Sea blue. Being outside in the sun surrounded by the clear blue sky made for one incredible morning!
Doing yoga outside is such a different experience than being inside. It is pretty cool to go from a forward fold to see a beautiful blue sky and then to a twist to see the green leaves of a tree fluttering in the wind. Some of yoga's biggest lessons are inspired by nature: focusing awareness, breathing deeply, and practicing stillness. The warm sun deepened poses by making muscles more pliable, the breezes reminded me to keep the breath going, and those ladybugs (that kept landing on me) were a reminder to focus on stillness.
Once I came home, I made up a batch of banana coconut bread for a late breakfast treat. I enjoyed a slice with a cup of tropical tea on my front porch.
There's nothing like a mind-cation to paradise.
Banana Coconut Bread
Yields 2 loaves
1 cup coconut oil (or unsalted butter)
2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs, beaten
2 cups ripe bananas, mashed (approximately 5 large bananas)
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 tsp. coconut extract
1 cup grated coconut
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease two 9 x 5" loaf pans and set aside.
In a small mixing bowl, combine the flour, coconut, salt, baking soda, and nutmeg, and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, cream the coconut oil and granulated sugar until smooth. Slowly add the eggs and bananas. Gradually add the dry ingredients. Add the coconut extract and vanilla extract. Mix until combined; do not overbeat.
Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 50-55 minutes, or until golden brown.
Source: Modified from The Deep Dish Cayman, originally from Miss Cleo's Cayman Kitchen