Balance (and soup)

gluten-free dairy-free chicken chard white bean soup bacon 2

I am not a particularly graceful practitioner of yoga. My legs don’t straighten in Forward Fold, my high lunge is a little wobbly, and my Downward-Facing Dog is still a work in progress. Warrior II and Three-Legged Dog are better, but I still find myself collapsing in a heap on my mat sometimes, unable to have brought my knee to my nose in plank position while also inhaling deeply and pulling in my lower abdomen.

My yoga teacher is (as it seems all yoga teachers are) an incredibly beautiful woman who makes every single pose look easy and fluid. The trick, she says, is to approach each position with humility and patience, trusting in time that your body will find its own strength and balance.

corn soup dairy free chowder

Balance can be difficult to find during the holidays. There’s so much to do, so much rushing around, so much stress and strife and pressure. There are trees to decorate, gifts to buy, cookies to bake, and carols to sing. Christmas means the joy of spending time with friends and family, but also all of the stress inherent in making sure everything is perfect.

Sometimes, there are too many cookies during the holidays. Sometimes, there’s not enough protein. Sometimes, you find yourself having Diet Coke for lunch at 3 p.m. because you got tangled up in Christmas lights.

That’s when you should stop, breathe, and make some soup. In the course of finding my own balance, I didn’t manage to come up with a new soup recipe for you all. But the point is that soup can be the most meditative of things to make — lots of chopping, lots of stirring, and lots of patience.

And besides, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing you’re doing something really good for your body when you make one of the soups in the following list. And, you know, maybe do some yoga — practice your tree pose — while waiting for it to simmer. It’s all good.

Chicken Quinoa Soup

Chicken, Chard and White Bean Soup

Southwestern Corn Soup

Mulligatawny

Kale and White Bean Soup (via Martha Stewart)

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