turmeric the most essential herb for a yoga (asana) practice

turmeric the most essential herb for a yoga (asana) practice

This post is related to a series of post about nutrition & yoga.

similar posts >>>

asana, shavasana, coconuts <http://wp.me/p3RIqJ-2M >
brahmacharya and pineapple < http://wp.me/p3RIqJ-2K >
centering with cinnamon < http://wp.me/p3RIqJ-2Q >

ginger for tapas < http://wp.me/p3RIqJ-2S >
light on nightshade vegetables < http://wp.me/p3RIqJ-2I >

“a day without turmeric is a day without a downward facing dog”

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 beneficial 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.

Most of this information comes from the following sources;

The Ayurvedic Spice of Life ©2003 Prashanti de Jager (www.omorganics.com)
Yoga and Ayurveda. Dr. David Frawley.

Turmeric is truly a great herb, the following text is merely an abbreviation of the wide range of benefits of Turmeric, and meant to inspire you to add turmeric to your daily diet as adding yoga to your daily life, and notice how well those 2 can go together for your general well-being.
from tao te ching;
When you look for it, there is nothing to see.
When you listen for it, there is nothing to hear.
When you use it, it is inexhaustible.

Dr David Frawley rounds it all up; “There is little that it cannot do in the realm of healing and much that no other herb is able to accomplish. Turmeric has a broad spectrum of actions, mild but certain effects, and is beneficial for long term and daily usage. Though it is a common spice, few people, including herbalists know of its great value and are using it to the extent possible. It is an herb that one should get to know and live with. Turmeric gently stimulates the digestive fire and makes the food easier to digest and absorb. It also helps detoxify the food. In addition it improves the quality of food, adding nutritive and blood building properties to the oils with which it combines, particularly ghee (clarified butter), with which it has an important affinity. It is essential to Ayurvedic diets. In addition Turmeric is a great woman’s herb and is helpful for many gynecological problems. It mildly promotes menstruation, relieves menstrual pain and cramping, is great for countering PMS, and helps build the blood. It helps guard against or even remove cysts in the breast or uterus, and is a good guard against breast cancer. In addition it helps beautify the skin and improve the complexion, promoting circulation and nutrition to the surface of the body. It vitalizes the body’s own natural healing energy through its action of strengthening digestion and circulation, and aiding in the regulation of all bodily systems. For all these reasons Turmeric is likened to the Divine Mother, bestowing numerous blessings and helping us in all dangers, difficulties and conditions of weakness and debility.”

For many reasons Turmeric is also one of the best herbs/foods of Yoga: It is one of the most potent purifying herbs in Ayurveda, cleansing all the bodies including physical and subtle, from muscles to marmas; It is one of the safest herbs; It increases flexibility; It reduces pain and inflammation from practice which means it allows more opportunity to perfect asana’s, stay in asana’s longer and stay in asana’s with greater ease, more sukha and sthira; It increases prana, the flow of prana and purifies prana. Yoga scriptures like the Shiva Samhita recommends that a Yogi take some ghee and milk before asana and pranayama practice, and many traditional yogis add Turmeric to that.

One focus of Yoga Asana is the digestive system and digestion (Gastro-Intestinal (GI) system), which is the basis of our mental and physical health. Turmeric is a great carminative and continues with what the asana have started. Carminatives tend to increase absorption and nurture the intestinal flora. Able to calm an upset digestive system by getting rid of gas and distention. Turmeric is one of the best carminatives because though it leans towards being heating-pungent, it is very balanced and does not aggravate any of the doshas if taken in normal amounts, a few grams per day. Turmeric treats the entire GI system. It is traditionally used for weak stomachs, poor digestion,dyspepsia, to normalize metabolism, to help digest protein, and to increase the bio-availability of food and the ability of the stomach to withstand digestive acids. Turmeric detoxifies the body and mind and in this way helps the body cure itself. One sure sign of this is that it increases the level of the enzyme glutathione S-transferase (GST), which is essential to detoxification. Turmeric is one of the dashemani, the 10 best herbs to treat poisoning and to purify.

Turmeric is an excellent anti-inflammatory herb and therefore is very good treatment for arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, injuries, trauma, and stiffness from both under activity and over activity. If used before and after any surgery it will decrease the pain and inflammation and accelerate the healing and the return to balance. Though Yogis minimize the use of pungents, they do use Turmeric for many reasons, one being it is so good for the tendons and ligaments. It helps them to attain and hold asanas and to avoid injuries. In the same way it minimizes the pain and inflammation related to any kind of exercise or strenuous activity.

Yoga works on the total body and mind, not only the muscles and joints, similar Turmeric has multiple effects on the total body and mind. It is known that Turmeric, and especially the Curcumins, inhibits skin cancer, likely due to decreasing the expression of proto-oncogenes. External application stops pain and swelling, heals wounds, and treats many skin diseases ranging from acne to leprosy.Since Turmeric is bitter and anti-inflammatory, it is excellent for hot skin diseases, especially wet eczema.

Purification, another important focus of yoga, and one of the Niyama’s; “Saucha”. A great alterative, Ayurveda uses Turmeric to purify and move the blood, for instance in the uterus during the menstrual cycle. Curcumin is actually very similar to one of the active molecules in Chaparral, a great Native American blood purifier. Turmeric also protects your liver from toxins and pathogens. It is  known to both destroy major hepatoxins, like aflatoxin, and to rebuild the liver after being attacked by hepatoxins. Turmeric increases the secretion of bile, promotes bilification, and may prevent cholelithiasis.

Turmeric supports the heart in many ways. For instance, there are platelets that flow in the blood whose job it is to form blood clots when we are wounded. The stress of being wounded causes the platelets to accumulate and stick together. In these days we experience a lot of the same stress without being wounded and our platelets start sticking together increasing the chance of a heart attack or stroke. Turmeric is known to inhibit this. Turmeric also removes cholesterol from the liver and inhibits its assimilation, which means that it gives your heart double protection from cholesterol.

Both Yoga and Turmeric have beneficial effects on the respiratory system and is one of the main traditional uses of yoga and turmeric. Yoga (asana and pranayama) are widely used to treat asthma, and cleansing the lungs. Turmeric as an anti-oxidant it protects the lungs from pollution and toxins. It also helps the oxygen transfer from the lungs to the blood. Turmeric with ghee is traditionally used to get rid of cough and to treat asthma.

Yoga has always been used for its therapeutic qualities, and it is here where yoga and ayurveda come really together. To treat a condition with both yoga and ayurveda, in this case, Turmeric, whom both work on the total body and mind, the beneficial effects can be multiple and synergistic.

Taken internally or used externally Turmeric is anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-parasitic, and anthelmintic (anti-worm). The essential oil, the water extract, and the extracted curcumins all show this activity. It interferes with the ability of microbes and viruses to replicate themselves and it increases your Immune system’s ability to fight the infection. It kills many bacteria in vivo and in vitro including staph and salmonella so it is great against staph infections and food poisoning. The fresh juice Turmeric is often used for many antibiotic applications such as wounds or whenever an antiseptic is needed. As an antibiotic Turmeric has been compared with penicillin on gram positive organisms and with streptomycin on gram negative organisms. In both cases Turmeric came in second but gave a strong showing.

Oxidation by free radicals is linked with accelerated aging and virtually every major chronic disease including atherosclerosis, cancer, cardiovascular diseases, cataracts, and rheumatoid arthritis. One way to stop this is with anti-oxidants like Vitamin C and E and Turmeric. A second way is with certain enzymes which engage the free radicals and destroy their ability to react. Working double time, the curcuminoids as anti-oxidants are 8 times stronger than vitamin E and also increase the number and activity of free radical destroying enzymes, like superoxide dismutase, catalase and glutathione peroxidase.. This means Turmeric is good at keeping you feeling and looking young; protecting you from mutating cells, tumors and cancer; preventing and removing oxidized cholesterol thereby preventing heart attacks; and reducing pain and acute (injuries) and chronic inflammations (arthritis).

Turmeric is considered to be anti-cancer because it has a triple action: It neutralizes those substances and conditions which can cause cancer; It directly helps a cell retain its integrity if threatened by carcinogens; If a tumor does grow the Curcumins can often destroy it.

When a virus replicates the ‘long terminal repeat’ (LTR) sequence is activated. Without this activation there can be no replication of a virus like the HIV. Harvard research proves the Curcumins to be powerful inhibitors of HIV LTR. Turmeric and the Curcumins have also been shown to help the Immune system’s T-cells survive and thrive, another strong anti-AIDS mechanism.

Turmeric protects from parasites that can cause so many mental and physical problems, including poor digestion.

For at least 1000 years Chinese Medicine has used Turmeric especially for the Spleen, Stomach, and Liver Meridians. They use it to stimulate and purify, and as an anti-biotic, anti-viral, and an analgesic. As such it is used to stimulate and strengthen the blood and decrease blood pressure, to clear abdominal pain and stagnation in men, women and children, and to remove stagnant Chi, the pain due to stagnant Chi, and excessive wind element. They consider it one of the better herbs for women because it stimulates the uterus and clears menstrual stagnation, dysmenorrhea and amenorrhea due to congested blood arising from a lack of heat or simply a deficiency. With the way that Turmeric can move the Chi, Turmeric intake in combination with Yin asanas can be seen as an herbal equivalent of an acupuncture session.

Healing Properties Overview

Besides flavoring food, to purify the blood and remedy skin conditions is probably the most common use of Turmeric in Ayurveda. The principle organs that it treats are the skin, heart, liver and lungs. Sushruta recommended it for epilepsy and bleeding disorders. Charaka recommends it for skin diseases, to purify the body mind, and to help the lungs expel kapha. Activities of Turmeric include: alternative, analgesic, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, anti-allergic, antioxidant, antiseptic, antispasmodic, appetizer, astringent, cardiovascular, carminative, cholagogue, digestive, diuretic, stimulant, and vulnerary. Therapeutic uses include: AIDS/HIV, anemia, cancer, diabetes, digestion, food poisoning, gallstones, indigestion, IBS, parasites, poor circulation, staph infections, and wounds. Turmeric helps regulate the female reproductive system and purifies the uterus and breast-milk, and in men it purifies and builds semen, which is counter intuitive for a pungent bitter. It reduces fevers, diarrhea, urinary disorders, insanity, poisoning, cough, and lactation problems in general. It is used to treat external ulcers that respond to nothing else. Turmeric decreases kapha and so is used to remove mucus in the throat, watery discharges like leucorrhea, and any pus in the eyes, ears, or in wounds, etc.

Adding Turmeric to your daily life;

Turmeric can be easily consumed on a daily base by making a herbal tea out of it;
Add finely chopped fresh turmeric or turmeric powder to boiling hot water, together with a slice of lime or lemon, and let it steep for while.*
Like most Indian and South-East Asian dishes will contain Turmeric, maybe just try to add some Turmeric to any dish you prepare and see how it will work out.

Please do not consider this text as a medical advice, and always consult your doctor to treat any medical condition.

*Turmeric is also used for dying fabric, especially Monk robes. With that said, it has the quality to stain your plastic-ware permanently yellow.

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centering with cinnamon

centering with cinnamon

This post is related to a series of post about nutrition & yoga.

similar posts >>>

asana, shavasana, coconuts <http://wp.me/p3RIqJ-2M >
brahmacharya and pineapple < http://wp.me/p3RIqJ-2K >
centering with cinnamon < http://wp.me/p3RIqJ-2Q >

ginger for tapas < http://wp.me/p3RIqJ-2S >
light on nightshade vegetables < http://wp.me/p3RIqJ-2I >
turmeric the most essential herb for a yoga (asana) practice < http://wp.me/p3RIqJ-2O >

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.

Centering, finding your center, going within; starting with the foundation is the basics of yoga. That is why we often start in Tadasana or Samathiti. Connection with our feet. Bringing the awareness to the root center.
from tao te ching;
If you realize that you have enough,
you are truly rich.
If you stay in the center
and embrace death with your whole heart,
you will endure forever.
When we are centered we can hold the world. Cinnamon is one of those herbs with multiple effects on the body mind, and very beneficial with a yoga practice. A “grounding” herb, common, affordable and easy to use. Adding cinnamon to your daily diet can help you finding your center, or staying more centered. According Ayurveda cinnamon being a sweet spice is sattvic (balanced). It is a spicy aromatic too, good at stimulating the mind, promoting insight and perception. It has enough “spice” to lift you up, but still keeping both feet solid on the floor. That is the dynamics of balance. Ever watched a cat “sleeping”,  being completely relaxed yet with the softest little sound the ears will immediately point into that direction of where the sound came from. That is being centered.
Continuing in ayurvedic terms, cinnamon pacifies vata and kapha dosha’s, but it may aggravate pitta dosha if taken in excess.  It has a sweet, pungent, and bitter rasa or initial taste, it is heating, and has a pungent vipak or aftertaste.  In ayurveda, cinnamon is used as a remedy for diabetes, indigestion, and colds, and it is often recommended for people with the kapha dosha. It’s a common ingredient in chai tea, and it is believed to improve the digestion of fruit, milk and other dairy products.
In traditional Chinese medicine, Cassia cinnamon is used for colds, flatulence, nausea, diarrhea, and painful menstrual periods. It’s also believed to improve energy, vitality, and circulation and be particularly useful for people who tend to feel hot in their upper body but have cold feet.
While there are four main types of cinnamon, the primary ones which are sold are Cassia cinnamon and Ceylon cinnamon. The majority of this spice that’s available in grocery stores is the lesser expensive variety, Cassia cinnamon. It is darker and less sweet than the true Ceylon cinnamon, and its sticks are harder. Cassia cinnamon can’t be easily ground into a powder. The Ceylon variety which imparts the health benefits, while cassia cinnamon contains large doses of the compound coumarin. Couramin can cause certain unwanted side effects, such as increased heart rate and liver and kidney problems.
“Health” ,can be defined merely by not being sick, not having any pains, it can also be defined as being in complete harmony, from body mind to everything that is happening around you, tapping into an unlimited source of energy. Cinnamon (in general a good diet) and yoga can help in finding this harmony. In short cinnamon improves digestion and absorption, and promotes elimination.  It removes toxins from the body, and improves circulation by strengthening the heart and warming the kidneys.  As a blood thinner, cinnamon prevents heart attacks. Additionally, cinnamon may be used in the treatment of respiratory and sinus congestion, bronchitis, colds, and the flu. Recent studies have found that cinnamon may have a beneficial effect on blood sugar. Preliminary lab and animal studies have found that cinnamon may have antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. It’s active against Candida albicans, the fungus that causes yeast infections and thrush, and Helicobacter pylori, the bacteria responsible for stomach ulcers.
(People taking diabetes medication or any medication that affects blood glucose or insulin levels shouldn’t take therapeutic doses of cinnamon unless they’re under a doctor’s supervision. Taking them together may have an additive effect and cause blood glucose levels to dip too low.)
A 2004 study found that the smell of cinnamon helped boost brain function. Study participants performance on tasks involving virtual recognition memory, attentional processes, working memory, and visual-motor speed while using a computer were measured comparing the relative effects of jasmine, peppermint, cinnamon and no odor. Cinnamon had the strongest positive effect on study subjects’ cognitive processing skills. Cinnamon’s aroma comes from cinnamonaldehyde, an essential oil in the bark of cinnamon trees. The Moolhadara chakra, translated as root center, at the base of the spine, is according the science of yoga connected with the sense organ the nose, with smell, and plays an important role to feel and be centered.
Some common ayurvedic home remedies for cinnamon:

  • To reduce the kapha provoking properties of rice and other carbohydrates, add cinnamon to the dish.
  • For a common cold, cough or congestion, combine ½ tsp cinnamon and 1 tsp of raw, uncooked honey and take two or three times a day.
  • For coughs, colds, and sore throats, boil cinnamon sticks in water and inhale the vapor.
  • For a sinus headache, make a paste of ½  tsp cinnamon powder and water and apply topically.
  • For diarrhea, combine ½ tsp of cinnamon powder, a pinch of nutmeg. and ½ cup yogurt and consume this combination two to three times daily.
  •  For lowering LDL cholesterol, take ½ tsp of cinnamon daily.

When consumed together with honey, it can  ease digestion, helping to prevent gas. Honey and cinnamon also provide energy, making people more mentally alert and ready for physical activity.
Honey possesses natural anti-bacterial properties. Honey poured on wounds or burns prevents infection and promotes healing. Regular consumption of honey and cinnamon together, when combined with an overall healthy diet and moderate activity level, can prevent heart disease by clearing clogged arteries.
Drinking honey and cinnamon in lukewarm water results in them moving through the bladder and cleansing it, as well as clearing infections there. Drinking this beverage on a regular basis can also relieve, and in some cases entirely cure, arthritis pain. This drink also strengthens the immune system, helping ward off colds as well as some viruses. Applying a paste of honey and cinnamon to infected gums can ease pain and bleeding as well as slow the progression of the infection.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, cinnamon is viewed as possessing heat or yang, and is thus used to cure ills stemming from excess yin or coldness. Honey, in this system, is viewed as a neutral substance, balanced between yin and yang.

more information : http://www.naturalnews.com/034280_honey_cures_cinnamon.html#ixzz2iLd0mxY1
This information has worked for us  Please do not consider them as medical advice, and always consult your doctor to treat any medical condition. ahimsaka satya banner 01

light on nightshade vegetables

light on nightshade vegetables

This post is related to a series of post about nutrition & yoga.
similar posts >>>

asana, shavasana, coconuts < http://wp.me/p3RIqJ-2M >
brahmacharya and pineapple < http://wp.me/p3RIqJ-2K >
centering with cinnamon < http://wp.me/p3RIqJ-2Q >
ginger for tapas < http://wp.me/p3RIqJ-2S >

turmeric the most essential herb for a yoga (asana) practice <http://wp.me/p3RIqJ-2O >

Turmeric the most essential herb for a yoga (asana) practice <webpage link>
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. Substances, compounds, toxins etc work on molecular level, they can do their work from the inside of the cell, and penetrate the cell from the outside. Creating disharmony within the body mind. This is happening on a daily basis, and yoga is a way to counteract these effects and restore harmony to the body mind. “Health” ,can be defined merely by not being sick, not having any pains, it can also be defined as being in complete harmony, from body mind to everything that is happening around you, tapping into an unlimited source of energy.

The nightshade (as they grow at night) vegetable is a large family of plants including the well known;
Potato (but not sweet potato neither yams), eggplant (aubergine), hot peppers like chilli, cayenne (tabasco sauce and other hot pepper sauces), paprika (bell pepper), tomato, tomatillo’s,  ground cherries, tamarillos, garden huckleberry and naranjillas, pepinos and pimentos.
Not considered to be a vegetable but part of the family is the tobacco plant. There are over 2,800 species of plants that are classified as nightshades – all belonging to a scientific order called Polemoniales, and to a scientific family called Solanaceae. All nightshades contain alkaloids – a group of substances that has been scientifically proven to adversely impact both the digestive system and the nerve-muscle function of our bodies. The alkaloids in nightshades are naturally formed by the plants themselves, primarily to defend themselves from insects (natural pesticides in a way). There are several types of alkaloids found in nightshade plants.  One basic type found in most nightshade foods – including potatoes and tomatoes – is known as the steroid alkaloids. These alkaloids (primarily solanine (a neuro-toxin) and chaonine) have been studied for their effects on the nervous system and joint health.
Steroid alkaloids have the ability to cause cholinesterase inhibition – or to block activity of the cholintesterase enzyme in nerve cells. When cholintesterase is severely blocked, our nervous system and muscle movement becomes disrupted – causing muscle twitching, trembling and even restricted breathing. While the steroid alkaloid in potatoes has indisputably been shown to block cholinesterase activity, the blockage does not usually appear to be severe enough to produce noticeable nerve-muscle disruptions such as twitching or trembling.
Steroid alkaloids have been studied for their potential damage to the joints caused by inflammation and altered mineral status.  The research is not conclusive, but some researchers speculate that these alkaloids contribute to excessive calcium loss from bone and excessive calcium deposit in soft tissue. Accordingly, many doctors encourage those suffering from joint conditions like osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and other joint problems to avoid all nightshades from their diets.
Nightshades contain at least 6 other neuro-toxins, including atropine and nicotine. One of them is scopolamine which depresses the central nervous system and is used as a sedative. Nicotine causes a short-term increase in blood pressure, heart rate and the flow of blood from the heart. And it also causes the arteries to narrow. Nicotine is extremely addictive. Another neuro-toxin in nightshades is atropine, a blocker preventing nerve transmission. The others are acetyl cholinesterase inhibitors that prevent the breakdown of neurotransmitters needed for proper nerve function. Which means the neurotransmitters get stuck in the synapse, preventing nerve transmission and function.

In general it seems that nightshades;
dehydrate the joints and worsen arthritis.
worsen acidity, sciatica, and kidney, gallstones disorders and nervous system disorders.
The effects can be;
short term;  like cramps, diarrhea, dizziness and sleepiness. For many people these short term effects are even more intense, such as chronic migraine headaches, dizziness, intestinal disturbance, and ‘food poisoning’ like symptoms.
long term; like joint pain, appendicitis, birth defects (including spina bifida), depression, endocrine suppression, especially thyroid, arthritis in all its forms, increased intestinal permeability, migraines, osteoporosis, arteriosclerosis, and interference in the absorption of calcium (up to 80%), iron, and vitamin D.
Even though the solanine in one single potato isn’t strong enough to cause such a huge effect, it turns out that it builds up in our tissues over time and the body is very slow to break it down. It’s not water soluble, and is not destroyed by cooking. It takes the body 1 to 2 1/2 months to get rid of the solanine from just one potato. It usually builds up in the smooth muscles and organs such as the intestines, heart, lungs, and endocrine system, mostly in the thyroid. Harmful effects may take years and years to appear.

From a yogi/ayurvedic perspective nightshades are generally considered rajasic foods – in that they stimulate, aggravate and agitate the inner-workings of the mind, which in turn affects the body. From a doshic or body/mind constitution perspective, nightshades are Pitta aggravating as they are heating and acidic. (Potatoes can also be kapha aggravating, as they are heavy, starchy and can be difficult to digest.)
Nightshades have pungent or sour post digestive effect (vipaka). Vipaka is the way the food affects you when completely absorbed and assimilated. In the case of nightshades your colon is experiencing sour and pungent taste. It can be irritating for all three doshas. Sour is heating and irritates Pitta. Pungent is heating and drying and affects both vata and pitta. Kapha can tolerate them in small amounts once or twice a month.

Other facts about the nightshade’s;

  • Some of the other more famous members is the deadly nightshade; “belladonna”  and mandrake (which were thought to contain evil spirits).
  • Tomatoes, green peppers, eggplant and potatoes were only ornaments and not thought of as edibles until the 1800’s.
  • Eggplant was actually called “The Mad Apple”. In the Mediterranean area eggplant was thought to cause insanity if eaten daily for a month. A few spoonfuls of eggplant contain the same amount of nicotine as sitting in a closed room with a light smoker for three hours!
  • The nightshade plants, when found in pastures, are ruinous to livestock. If a cow were to graze in a field of nightshades, in a short time they wouldn’t be able to walk anymore.

Cooking will help to diminish the harmful effects, try not to eat any member of the Nightshades raw. If you need to eat tomatoes raw, the more green they are, more of the harmful components (esp. solanine) will be still present.  For potatoes, be sure to take out the green spots or sprouting on potatoes as these usually correspond to an increased alkaloid content.

Yoga, Ayurveda and Nightshades.
The ancient yogi’s seemed to avoid Nightshades, and today’s science seems to give some interesting evidence to support there ways. It is definitely worth a little experimenting on your own. Are you eating nightshades out of habit or are you eating them because they are beneficial to your body/mind? If you suffer of arthritis, acidity, sciatica, kidney and gallstones disorders or osteoporosis you may want to conduct your own research and gather more information. When yoga is part of your daily life, and your health important to you may want to consider eliminating the nightshades at least out of your daily diet. If you have a strenuous yoga asana practice with a lot of vinyasa, arm balances and working the edge of the body’s mobility, it could add new insight to your practice and body/mind when leaving the nightshades totally out of your diet.

Ahimsaka’s personal experience after eliminating all nightshades out of his total diet was remarkable (and for that reason sharing his experience);
short term; within a week, the body felt much more open, less defensive.Both body and mind seemed to have found a new kind of openness, the feeling of “struggle” felt away. The lethargic feeling in the muscles and joints that would appear 2 hours after a yoga asana practice completely disappeared. Tiredness in general disappeared and the body felt more vitalized and energized.
mid term; in between a week up to 4 months, mobility increased. Especially with back-bends, were mobility would maybe increase a millimeter or less in a week or so.  Often mobility would decrease a bit with out, as it seemed, any particular reasons (but those would be the times more nightshades had been consumed). Now the spine, and connecting joints seemed to open up rapidly, with a progress of 6 cm in Kapotasana. Time necessary for sleep became less, it took 2 hours of Ahimsaka’s sleeping time. No tiredness appeared during the day, and even more fresh when waking up. Numbness disappeared and more subtle body awareness trickled in.
long term; 4 months and beyond, the “problem” body parts, the parts with a lot of tightness, and prone to getting tighter, containing a lot of “conditioning” and tension seem to let go more and more. Openness is settling in, and what have been set in motion within the first 4 months keeps on going to a lesser extend.

Looking from different angles some of these vegetables are “known” to be good, especially when having a yoga practice.

Eggplant is rich in fiber and contains a lot of minerals and helps in reducing weight.
Boiled tomatoes increase the amount of lycopene which is a highly effective anti-oxidant. (it does decrease the vitamin C content), and helps lowering high blood pressure and high cholesterol. (lycopene, in lesser content is also found in papaya, guava, pink grapefruit, watermelon and apricots). It could help fight inflammation  (with that muscle repair) and some researches state cancer too.

(https://www.nutraingredients-usa.com/Research/Cooking-tomatoes-boosts-health-benefits )

Raw tomatoes are a good source of vitamin A, C, E, potassium and folic acid.
The nightshades are easily substituted in your diet if you are cooking your own food (from a health perspective not from a sense-pleasure stimulating experience). When you are dependent on out-sourced/processed food, it gets difficult. Finding the middle path may be challenging, though not impossible. If you do make the effort to experiment; try to eliminated all the nightshades for at least a month from your diet and observe the effects according truth and non-violence.
for more information;

http://noarthritis.com/
http://yoga/ayurveda/why-you-should-eliminate-nightshades.html

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asana, shavasana, coconuts

asana, shavasana, coconuts

what shavasana is to the asana practice, is coconut to the shavasana

This post is related to a series of post about nutrition & yoga.
similar posts >>>
brahmacharya and pineapple < http://wp.me/p3RIqJ-2K >
centering with cinnamon < http://wp.me/p3RIqJ-2Q >
ginger for tapas < http://wp.me/p3RIqJ-2S >
light on nightshade vegetables < http://wp.me/p3RIqJ-2I >
turmeric the most essential herb for a yoga (asana) practice < http://wp.me/p3RIqJ-2O >

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.

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brahmacharya and pineapple

brahmacharya and pineapple
This post is related to a series of post about nutrition & yoga.
similar posts >>>
asana, shavasana, coconuts < http://wp.me/p3RIqJ-2M >
centering with cinnamon < http://wp.me/p3RIqJ-2Q >
ginger for tapas < http://wp.me/p3RIqJ-2S >
light on nightshade vegetables < http://wp.me/p3RIqJ-2I >
turmeric the most essential herb for a yoga (asana) practice < http://wp.me/p3RIqJ-2O >

 
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 the tao te ching;
We join spokes together in a wheel,
but it is the center hole
that makes the wagon move.

We shape clay into a pot,
but it is the emptiness inside
that holds whatever we want.

We hammer wood for a house,
but it is the inner space
that makes it livable.

We work with being,
but non-being is what we use.
Brahmacharya, can be translated into “celibacy”, but also into “dwelling in oneness”, or seeing the divine in everything. To take it a little bit broader, and within the field of nutrition; many plants contain compounds that science just slowly starts to recognize as beneficial (divine) for a healthy body mind. Nutrition can play a vital role in how our bodies respond to inflammation and soreness following asana and a strenuous practice. There are certain nutritional “must haves” if you want to stay healthy: vitamins, minerals, amino acids, essential fatty acids, glyconutrients and phytonutrients. Eating a wide variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs, seeds and nuts together with a balanced diet will do the job. The herbs turmeric and ginger will do, another very good is option is pineapple. Pineapple contains an enzyme called bromelain, which is responsible for digesting protein, reducing inflammation as well as joint pain (This bromelain is a combination of several different components, with the cysteine proteinase enzymes being one of the most important because they help with the process of protein digestion). An added benefit is that bromelain also aids in wound healing, angina and muscle soreness. Pineapple is a good source of dietary fiber too. Pineapple in the ayurvedic system of medicine is recommended for the treatment of conditions such as digestive disorders, pneumonia, bronchitis, kidney stones,  infections and worm infestations.
Besides bromelain;

  • Pineapple is rich in thiamine (vitamin B1), pyridoxine (vitamin B6), folic acid and vitamin C. Minerals such as manganese and copper are the other components that contribute to the health benefits of pineapple. In fact Pineapple is one of the best source of vitamin C (1 cup has as much as 1.3 times of Vitamin C required on a daily basis by body) and manganese among all fruits.
  • Another enzyme found in pineapple and adds to muscle recovery is papain because of its anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Antioxidant benefits: free radicals generated during the biochemical reactions in the body have wide-ranging deleterious effects on several body systems. Pineapple has a superior antioxidant action against such free radicals because of its rich content of vitamin C that has antioxidant properties. These health benefits of pineapple are most useful for people with heart disease, diabetes and arthritis. Some of pineapple’s antioxidant action is also due to the manganese ion, thiamine and pyridoxine which play an important role as co-factors for the several enzymes involved in reactions to prevent the harmful effects of free radicals.pineapple benefits
  • Immunity-boosting benefits: another of the health benefits of pineapple is that it helps people resist infections that arise due to a weakness of the body’s immune systems. Conditions such as flu, ear infection and the common cold respond well to vitamin C and pineapple being a rich source of this vitamin, helps to build the body’s resistance to infections. Some studies have also found that bromelain has the ability to reduce the inflammatory and allergic responses of hay fever.
  • Benefits in Arthritis: bromelain has been investigated for its action on osteoarthritis and although there is no conclusive evidence yet, one study found that it has an action equivalent to that of painkillers generally used for arthritis.
  • Benefits in cancer: bromelain has shown anti-tumor activity in animal studies and has also been found effective in preventing the spread of cancer cells from the tissue of origin to other organs.
  • The bromelain in pineapple can interfere with the way your body responds to medications such as antibiotics, sedatives and blood thinners. Therefore, it is best to consult your physician about such interactions before you take pineapple.

Some other nutrients which contain some divine compounds that help reducing inflammation and soreness following strenuous practice;

  • bananas; Post practice cramps and soreness often come from a lack of potassium. Bananas are probably the most easy way to re-stock on potassium.
  • berries & cherries; Berries are packed with antioxidants that protect the cells. Cherries are high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory goodness. The antioxidants will neutralize free radicals, which can cause inflammation, premature aging, and increase chances of heart disease/cancer. Blueberries or any darker colour berry is great (cranberries, raspberries, blackberries, etc).
  • ginger & turmeric; (see separate post); Ginger & turmeric are often used as a pain killer in eastern medicine. Turmeric contains a chemical called curcumin, a powerful anti- inflammatory. It fights cancer as well as giving antioxidants that are vital for fighting inflammation, soreness, and muscle recovery, read more: ginger for tapas <webpage link> turmeric the most essential herb for a yoga (asana) practice <webpage link>
  • green tea; According to a recent study profiled in Mens Health, people who drank three cups of green tea a day had fewer markers of cell damage caused by resistance to exercise. Also, green tea is loaded with antioxidants called catechins, which help speed up your metabolism.
  • nuts; Nuts are a good source of Omega-3 fatty acid, protein, zinc, potassium, magnesium, and other vitamins/minerals. Plain and not salted or roasted  (no MSG) and soaked overnight are the most beneficial.  Walnuts, Brazil nuts, almonds, pumpkin, and sunflower seeds will do when eaten in moderation.
  • spinach; A recent study found that a compound in spinach increase protein synthesis, which helps the muscles repair faster after a practice.

Please do not consider this text as a medical advice, and always consult your doctor to treat any medical condition.

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Kitcheree, 2 vegan variations.

Kitcheree, 2 vegan variations.
similar posts >>>
“golden soy milk” < http://wp.me/p3RIqJ-2U >
One of the main dishes in India is Kitcheree, basically rice, mung beans, Turmeric, and ghee. There are as many variations of Kitcheree as there are cooks in India so there is ample room for experimentation around this central theme. Kitcheree is famous for both its cleansing and nourishing action on the entire body. Usually cleansing and nourishing are opposite therapies, but in the case of Kitcheree, both are possible at once, and hence it is one of the most recommended foods in Ayurveda.

Kitcheree can be a welcoming breakfast after a morning practice, continuing the cleansing that the practice started and nourishing and preparing the body for a new day off the yoga mat.

variation A;
(variation B; substitute the water for coconut milk, this will make a more rich Kitcheree, and more inline with the traditional recipes in which Ghee* is being used)
Ingredients:
1 cup organic brown or red rice
1/2 cup organic mung beans (green beans)
2.2 to 2.5 cup water
1 tsp turmeric powder (or about 3 tsp chopped up fresh turmeric)
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder (or 1 or 2 sticks of cinnamon, crushed before use)
1 or 2 chopped banana’s
2 Tbsp Coconut Oil (organic cold pressed)
Honey  to taste. (add only when ready to eat**)

Preparation;
Soak rice and mung beans over night to shorten the cooking time.

Instructions:
Bring the rice and mung beans to boil, add the turmeric and cinnamon (powder) and stir until the mix becomes completely yellow, and the powder is completely dissolved. Chop the bananas.  After about 10 min, when half of the water has been evaporated, add the chopped bananas.  Let it boil softly till all the water  has been completely evaporated. Take it from the stove and let it cool down a little bit. Add coconut oil and stir***. When it is cooled down enough, but still warm to eat , add honey to taste. Eat warm.

Variation; add a little bit of chopped fresh ginger, or 1 tsp of ginger powder to it.

*Ghee; clarified butter, a major food item in the Indian cuisine, and turmeric has special affinity with it, adding nutritive and blood building properties to the Ghee with which it combines.It is hard to find good, non-violent and honest Ghee nowadays, and for the people that are lactose intolerant it wouldn’t do either.

**Honey is certainly in many respects an extremely powerful medicine – antibacterial, anti-oxidant, anti-viral etc. It can be great for colds (not when having a dry cough), clearing sinuses/congestion etc. However, you should not add honey to boiling water. While warm water is fine, according to Maharishi Ayurveda, above 42 degrees centigrade (when you burn your tongue when you take a sip), the all-important ‘medicinal’ molecular structure of honey is changed irrevocably, making it indigestible (in a sense…toxic).

***Coconut oil is one of the best oils to consume. Cold pressed oil has the most nutritional benefits then other processed coconut oils. By not cooking/boiling the oil these will be preserved for you body to digest and use.

**** this recipe is a home remedy that have worked for us.  Please do not consider them as medical advice, and always consult your doctor to treat any medical condition.
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“golden soy milk”

“golden soy milk”
similar posts >>>
kitcheree 2 vegan variations <http://wp.me/p3RIqJ-2W&gt;

A veganized healthy drink, based on the ancient Indian recipe of Golden Milk. Beneficial especially when having a more strenuous yoga practice. The soy milk in this recipe can be substituted with Almond Milk, regular milk, or any milk replacement. A yogi diet contains products that are easy to digest, non-violent and honest. In line with that soy milk is more preferable then regular milk.  Turmeric is one of Ayurveda’s most revered roots (see post about Turmeric).  It is a profoundly powerful healer with natural antibiotic properties.  Turmeric is believed to help purify the blood, clear the skin, heal reproductive organs, balance blood sugar and so on. It is also good for lubricating your joints (the oil helps with this too).  It helps reducing inflammations and speeds up the heeling process of body tissue. Coconut oil (see post about coconuts) is another powerful healer and with natural antibiotic qualities, it is also suitable for all the 3 dosha’s (ayurvedic body types). Traditionally the golden milk is prepared with almond oil. Almond oil is not the best, ayurvedic, combination with the pitta dosha. Coconut oil is a tridoshic, good for all 3 dosha’s.
It also helps the entire female system function and is great for people suffering from arthritis and can help break up calcium deposits.
Golden soy milk is good to drink on a regular base, any time of the day will do, recommended about 30 min after your yoga practice or before bed time as a soothing drink***.
Ingredients:
1/8 tsp turmeric powder
10 oz Soy Milk
2 Tbsp Coconut Oil (organic cold pressed)
Honey to taste. (add only when ready to drink*)
Instructions:
Bring the Soy Milk to boil, add the turmeric powder and stir until the milk becomes completely yellow, and the powder is completely dissolved. Take it from the stove and let it cool down a little bit. Add coconut oil and stir**. When it is cooled down enough, but still warm to drink, add honey to taste. Drink warm to hot.
* Honey is certainly in many respects an extremely powerful medicine – antibacterial, anti-oxidant, anti-viral etc. It can be great for colds (not when having a dry cough), clearing sinuses/congestion etc. However, you should not add honey to boiling water. While warm water is fine, according to Maharishi Ayurveda, above 42 degrees centigrade (when you burn your tongue when you take a sip), the all-important ‘medicinal’ molecular structure of honey is changed irrevocably, making it indigestible (in a sense…toxic).
**Coconut oil is one of the best oils to consume. Cold pressed oil has the most nutritional benefits then other processed coconut oils. By not cooking/boiling the oil these will be preserved for you body to digest and use. (coconut is pretty stable even when heated and it will keep most of the benefits, though if you can avoid heating it will nourish you with more of the benefits)
***this recipe is a home remedy that have worked for us.  Please do not consider them as medical advice, and always consult your doctor to treat any medical condition. ahimsaka satya banner 01