asana, shavasana, coconuts
what shavasana is to the asana practice, is coconut to the shavasana
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Asana’s work from the outside of the body into the inside of the body, pranayama works from the inside, the core, to the outside of the body. Both work on all aspects of the body mind, from the gross to the subtle. Pratyahara works from the senses and the mind. Dharana works with the mind. Meditation is beyond the mind and works with the subtle energies within the body mind. Nutrients work on molecular level, they can do there work from the inside of the cell, and penetrate the cell from the outside. Taking particular nutrients together with a yoga practice, can upgrade the benificial effects more, what yoga has prepared within the body mind, nutrients can take beyond that. And/or what the nutrients have been doing on a cellular level, yoga can act on.
From tao te ching;
It flows through all things,
inside and outside, and returns
to the origin of all things.
One of the reasons people love Mysore, Karnataka, India is the easy access to fresh coconuts. On almost every street corner there is a little coconut stand, and opposite the “main shala “(Shri K Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute) there is a little mobile coconut stand. Most ashtangi’s develop a habit of drinking & eating 1 or 2 coconuts after a practice.
And it is a healthy habit;
- Coconut is a tropical fruit that is rich in protein.
- Its re-vitalizing properties are almost instant, within 5 minutes of some fresh coconut you will feel a burst of energy, clarity of mind and well-being.
- The fat from coconut is considered saturated but it is actually called Lauric Acid which is a type of fat which is easily absorbed by the human body and used instantly as energy.
- Lauric acid is a medium chain fatty acid which is abundant in coconut oil and is considered responsible for many of its health benefits. Coconut oil is about 50 percent lauric acid. The only other abundant source found in nature is in human breast milk.
- Coconut is a potent anti-bacterial and anti-fungal it is a great cleanser of our intestines.
- Coconut will help your body fight off infection and its a great thing to eat when you are unwell or feel something coming on, this is thanks to it being converted to Monolaurin by the body which fights off infections (viral or bacterial).
- Coconut oil itself which can be purchased pretty cheaply in your local health food store is hands down the best cooking oil. It is stable at high heats retaining mostly all of its benefits (unlike Olive oil) and it will leave the food with a delicious taste. (though the best buy would be cold pressed oil and avoid reheating the oil)
- Coconut can boost thyroid function by up to 20%. Having an efficient thyroid is essential for our bodies to carry out several functions including boosting our metabolism and energy production.
- Coconut has been proven to have anti-cancer effects especially of the colon and breast. This is due to the oils protective nature and ability to safeguard the body from infection whilst cleansing your system.
- Coconut water is an amazing substance, it has an array of health benefits firstly it is low in carbs and sugars and one of the best hydrators, fluid re-placers know to humankind.
- Coconut water is more nutritious than whole milk – less fat and no cholesterol
- Coconut water is better than processed baby milk- It contains lauric acid, which is present in human mother’s milk
- Coconut water is naturally sterile — Water permeates though the filtering husk.
- Coconut water is a natural isotonic beverage – The same level we have in our blood.(Coconut water is a universal donor– Its identical to human blook plasma –)
- Coconut water is good for kidney and urinary bladder problems.
Coconut oil can also be used for purification, saucha.
“Oil-pull”; taking 2 tbs of coconut oil into your mouth, and hold it there for 20 min. After 20 min, spit the oil, the saliva and all the toxins out. Rinse with lukewarm water. Any oil could do the job of extracting the toxins from the body tissues through the mouth cavity. Coconut is more pleasant, has a more balancing and cooling effect, is anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and a cleanser in general.
Coconut oil can be put on the skin before your practice, the oil will go into the skin, and absorb the toxins. The heat developed during the practice will sweat the oil and the toxins out, detoxifying your body. An added benefit is that it will make your asana’s and vinyasa’s more smooth, you are sliding your way in & out the asana, less friction. In some cases you need some friction and resistance, and doing arm balances will become more difficult. Coconut oil has pitta counteracting properties (esp on the head when it is overheated) The cooling effect of coconut oil can prevail that you feel “over-heated”, or aggravated. Some Indian martial arts like, kalarippayat rub the whole body with oil before their practice. As you would lubricate a machine to let it run efficiently, the body should be lubricated too. To avoid being completely covered in oil, another option is to apply some coconut oil only on the area’s you think need some special care.
Mix a bit of turmeric powder with coconut oil and put it on any scratch you have to work both the healing properties of coconut oil and turmeric, it works like a natural anti-biotics, turmeric can stop bleeding, and it will speed up tissue repair.
Coconuts are the all in one, gift of mother nature. It restores, re-energizes, strengthens, heals, grows and glows the body mind within minutes. Consumed in it natural form, it is non-violent; not needing any packaging or special needs for transporting. It can grow easily without any pesticides or artificial fertilizers, and can be harvested by any one with open hips.
Please do not consider this text as a medical advice, and always consult your doctor to treat any medical condition.