My 7 (Non)Essential Yoga Essentials

I like to think of myself as a yoga minimalist. I think you can get a great practice in with really just your body. That’s all you need right? You technically don’t even need a mat. I even like to go minimal with clothing. Just a sports bar and shorts will do. You’ll never find me with a block and strap and the whole nine-yards. First of all, I’ve never needed a black or a strap to help me get into a pose (thank you flexibility!), but I do own two straps actually! There are some items that are nice to have and may make your practice easier, but nothing is essential. That’s why yoga is for everyone. There is a type, style and “prop” for everyone and that differs for each and every person. Even though you don’t “need” a mat, I choose to always use one. It feels like home to me. I like the cushion beneath my palms and feet. I also think the that bright yellow color of my mat just adds to the energy I am creating.

Here are some of my (non)essential yoga essentials that you may consider using or already use in your practice. I can go minimal, but when you have some nice perks, why not use them? They make me most comfortable and ensure that my practice will be top-notch.

My 7 (Non)Essential Yoga Essentials | Strength and Sunshine1. Slip-Free Rosin from Aurorae ~ This stuff is fabulous! I always feel as though no matter how good my mat is, my hands just always get sweaty and slip when in downward-dog. Maybe it’s just that my shoulder mobility is really great so my arms get really into it. But by sprinkling this rosin on the front of my mat, my hands never ever slip!

2. The Classic Yoga Mat (in Solar) from Aurorae ~ My solar colored yoga is one of my favorite things, not just yoga things. I love this mat so much and bring it with me everywhere! I’m sitting on it now as I type this post! If something ever happened to this mat…I would cry…big time. I picked the solar color because it means: “creative, inspiring, energy, warmth, family, stability, and compassion.” All perfect beautiful words and characteristics!

3. My Laptop ~ This old HP has been my door into the yoga world. I always start my practice with at least 30 minutes of my own stretching, flow, and asana practice, but then I always use an online video as my real practice. My big 18in screen is perfect and it feels like I am actually in a class with my favorite teachers.

4. Comfortable Clothing ~ Like I said, minimal clothing is best for me. I love my Tasc Performance clothes the best and always feel really confident in them. Sports bra and capris are perfect. They are tight fitting and don’t make me over heat. (Use the code: SANDS at checkout for a 25% discount!)

5. A Water Bottle ~ I need my water. I can not settle in to a practice if I don’t have water near by. Even though I might not drink it until after I’m done, I need it there in case. It is totally a comfort thing, but I also don’t want to pass out, haha! A sip of two during a quick mountain pose always does the trick!

6. Yoga Mat Cleaner from Lotus ~ I use my mat a lot and I want to keep it clean and in good condition. This cleaner smells pretty good compared to some others I have tried. It is eucalyptus mint which is supposed to promote a calming effect too! My mat still has a grayish stain where my feet always are in downward-dog and the like, but this spray cleans and kills any germs that are there. Plus it helps get old rosin cleaned out from the top of my mat! I also like using it after my mat has been outside on the grass. It always smells bad once I take it in, but this spray helps clean and freshen my mat right back up!

7. Rubber Hair Ties ~ My hair HAS to be up. I can not do yoga with my long hair flying in my face of getting in the way of my feet and hands. (It hurts to step on you hair and not realize it!). I like my hair bands with a rubber “sting” going over it so it stays in place. But I also have to put my hair in a bun since a pony is still to long. So first I get it in a pony, then twist it into a bun, put some bobby pins in, then twist another hair tie around. It always stays and gives me freedom from my hair mess!

That’s really all I need for a perfect practice! But if I had to pick my number one thing, I would pick my mat. I would go naked if I could just have my mat. I think I need to give this bad boy a name…hm. Any ideas?

So tell me:

+ What are your (non)essential yoga essentials?

+ If you could have only one yoga item besides your body, what would it be?

+ Have you named your yoga mat? I’m thinking Luminance, Mr. Luminance!

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Grilled Vegan Margherita Pizza

I have a confession. I love Pizza! I really do. I always scoffed at those who would answer the question of “what’s your favorite good?” and they would say pizza. Well, pizza isn’t my favorite food, but it’s up there. Of course my pizzas are not the typical cheese and sauce on a doughy gluten-filled crust, but that’s not the definition of pizza anyway. Dictionary.com told me the definition was this: a flat, open-faced baked pie of Italian origin, consisting of a thin layer of bread dough topped with spiced tomato sauce and cheese, often garnished with anchovies, sausage slices, mushrooms, etc.”

Grilled Vegan Margherita Pizza | Strength and Sunshine

Okay, so maybe it is close to what I said isn’t the definition, but it doesn’t specify what the dough or cheese has to be made from! The pizza I have to share with you today, is the closest to fitting this definition of pizza that I have made yet. It has the “dough”, sauce, and even cheese (or cheeze in my case)! The definition for a margherita pizza says: a type of pizza made with tomato, sliced mozzarella, basil, and extra virgin olive oil. I hit all those except the EVOO. But that’s okay…I made up for it with a few other extras ;)

Grilled Vegan Margherita Pizza | Strength and Sunshine

One this I did take to a new level with how it was “cooked” and in this case it was grilled! Two great loves combined in one meal! Grilling and pizza, can you get any better? There is something about grilling that just leaves you feeling super accomplished in your culinary feats. It takes a bit of extra gusto to grill than it does to bake. And I am so happy I started using the big bad grill this summer. It was intimidating at first, but now I like to call it my best friend ;) It hasn’t let me down yet or screwed up a recipe. I think it likes me too :)

Grilled Vegan Margherita Pizza | Strength and Sunshine

What I loved about grilling the pizza was the nice smoky taste it gave. It also nicely and lightly cooked the delicate topping with the grill cover closed. Each flavor was able to burst through and hold its own when you took a bite. The colors all stayed vibrant and really made the pizza a feast for the eyes (as well as the stomach!)

Grilled Vegan Margherita Pizza

Grilled Vegan Margherita Pizza | Strength and SunshineIngredients: (serves 1)

For the Cashew Cheeze:

+ 1/4 C Raw Unsalted Cashews (soaked in 1 cup of water overnight)

+ 1/8 Tsp Onion Powder

+ 2 Shakes of White Pepper

+ 1 TB Water

For the Pizza:

+ 1 Large Brown Rice Tortilla (I use Food For Life)

+ 1 Handful of Arugula

+ 5 Leaves of Fresh Basil

+ A Few Slices of Sweet Onion

+ 3 or 4 Slices of Tomato

+ 2 TB Salt-Free Tomato Paste

+ 2 TB Sliced Black Olives (rinsed)

+ Sprinkle of Garlic Powder

Grilled Vegan Margherita Pizza | Strength and Sunshine

Directions:

+ To make the cashew cheeze, combine the soaked cashews, pepper, onion powder, and water in a food processor. Pulse until you get a relatively smooth but crumbly texture. Set aside.

+ To assemble the pizza, spread the tomato paste, layer the tomatoes and onions down, next the arugula and basil, sprinkle on the olives, then make 3 “blobs” with the cashew cheeze, and finally sprinkle on a bit of garlic powder.

+ On a medium heated grill, place you pizza on an oiled piece of foil down on the grill. Close the cover and grill for about 6-8 minutes.

Grilled Vegan Margherita Pizza | Strength and Sunshine

Pretty simple! Of course you can make a few of these a feed the fam, but I am usually alone so one grilled pizza will suffice ;) In conclusion, this pizza elevated my love for pizza that much more! Plus it was the first time I made cashew cheeze and I loved it! It really does taste like cheese, plus cashews are so buttery and sweet anyway, it was just fabulous. (Rivaling the nutritional yeast cheese!). I was also able to get my fix of tomato paste. I love the stuff! It’s so concentrated and tangy; so much better than tomato sauce! Since I never use a whole jar at once, I freeze a few tables spoons in plastic baggies to whenever I need it. Then I just thaw it out in the microwave and I have tomato paste ready to go!

So tell me:

+ What is your definition of pizza?

+ Have you ever grilled a pizza? Do it before the summer is over!

*Recipe linking up for the week! WIAW, Allergy Free Wednesdays, #RecipeFridays, #RecipeOfTheWeek, #StrangeButGood, Gluten-Free Wednesdays, Real Food Friday, Gluten-Free Fridays, Tasty Tuesdays, Savoring Saturdays, Healthy Vegan Fridays, #Foodie Friday, Real Food Recipe Roundup, Gluten-Free Tuesdays, Tasty Tuesdays!*

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