One of my yoga teachers is always telling us to “approximate the pose” to the best of our abilities. How you do a pose might not look like the yogi practicing next to you, a photo in Yoga Journal or the way Krishnamacharya would do it but it’s the right way for you and your body. I think about this often and I always remind myself and tell my students that our bodies and minds are constantly changing and we have to listen to the way we feel day to day. Just because you could get into a split one practice doesn’t mean it’s a guarantee the next practice. Every practice is different and dependent on so many internal and external variables.
What I love so much about my yoga practice is how often it shows up in my life off the mat. One of the projects I decided to take on during my multi-hour bakathon yesterday was coconut macaroons. The plan was to do half plain dipped in chocolate and half with dried cranberries baked in and drizzled with white chocolate. I got the macaroons baked and ready for chocolate dipping and drizzling. I was wary of melting the white chocolate because in all my years of baking, it’s something I have never been able to master. No matter what I do it always seems to seize and never turns into glossy, melted white chocolate.
I did a quick Google search on the best method for melting white chocolate. It was a 50/50 between the microwave on low power and a double broiler. I decided to start with the microwave. I followed the instructions perfectly but when I removed the chocolate from the microwave I found a thick ball of seized chocolate. I took a deep breath and proceeded to set up a double broiler and crossed my fingers that it would be the winning ticket. Five minutes later I had a seized glob of chocolate.
I was frustrated. I am taking all of these cookies home to contribute to my family’s Christmas Day snacking spread and I wanted my cookies to look pretty. At this point I had wasted almost an entire bag of white chocolate chips and I didn’t have the heart to try again. I considered leaving the white chocolate off all together but I stopped and thought about why it was so important to me to take cookies home with a perfect white chocolate drizzle. That drizzle isn’t going to take away any of my holiday anxieties, ease any tense moments or make it appear that I myself am perfect and have everything pulled together.
So I approximated. I did the best I could with the tools I had in my toolbox at that moment in time. I found the most melted parts of the white chocolate globs and spread it over the macaroons, transforming them from dainty perfection to reality. My family will love these imperfect cookies as much as they love imperfect me.