Mysore style practice

Mysore style

The Mysore style of yoga teaching is unique to the Ashthanga Vinyasa Yoga tradition designed by Sri K Pattabhi Jois last century. It enables the student to practice (explore) a fixed sequence of yoga asana on her/his on pace by following external as well as internal guidance. External guidance would be a teacher, who assist with mostly hands-on adjustments and fewer verbal instructions, and the inspiration of the fellow students around. Internal guidance would be foremost the breathe, the internal dialogue and body intuition / intelligence.
The student is not blindly following the instructions of the teacher but is activley present with the yoga sequence that is happening. The mind aswell as the body are involved in the sequence. Some days the body isn’t moving at all, other days the mind just seems totally out of it. It is here that observation of both body and mind takes place. Concentration, focus, preparation, calculation and observation are all qualities of the brain that need to be trained too. To remember which pose comes next requires some mental effort, and prevents the brain of zoning out into oblivion. It keeps the brain connected to the present, what is happening here and now. Mysore style of teaching puts more responsibility with the student and allows more space for the internal observation. It honors the diversity of the body, and let the student work with that diversity.
The teacher is not instructing the student with which asana comes next; but allows the student to move through her/his practice and adjusting where necessary. The adjustment are mostly physically and directed directly to the body, to prevent ego involvement. Though the teacher will observe both body and mind, and will work on both to create space, strength and ultimately balance and harmony.
The Mysore style of teaching goes hand in hand with the Ashthanga vinyasa sequences, though the style of teaching could be extended to any kind of sequence. As long as the student and teacher know which sequence is being followed, the Mysore style class could be functioning. Different sequences for different students to honor the diversity of the students. It requires intimate involvement of the teacher which her/his student practice and it asks from the student a commitment to the practice and an independent attitude. As a student you have to follow your inner guidance, using your internal devises to navigate yourself through the practice (and eventually life). The teacher is not there to tell you which pose is next and what to do, though will tell you when you forget. The teacher will guide you through the practice where it is necessary by letting you do your own practice.
The body remembers by repetition, its the mind that’s label’s repetition as boredom. The mind likes to spin, to move in between opposites. When the body remembers stillness, it will ask for more. That is where the asana and vinyasa comes in, the effect of the asana plus the sequence is one of inducing stillness (how stimulating, energizing, aggravating or heating it may seem at first glance ). The body and eventually the mind will long for that stillness. From there chance will happen.
Ahimsaka is offering every weekday the possibility of Mysore style classes from 6 a.m. to 7.45 a.m., at Dili Ashthanga Yoga, hosted at Dili Wellness / The upstairs Studio , Comoro road (opposite Leader, next to Harish and Dili Club). Please contact Ahimsaka first if you like to practice Mysore style.

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Ashthanga yoga & running

(Ashthanga) yoga & running
Ashthanga vinyasa yoga practice can benefit your running practice.
“I cannot take a yoga class because I’m not flexible is like saying I cannot take a shower because I’m dirty “. As yoga isn’t about being flexible, actually not even about becoming flexible (though it is a beneficial side effect), it is about purifying the body and mind. Mosts sports start with “I can’t do that”. But after the initial start it moves towards the attitude of “I ran 5 miles, maybe I can ran 10 next time” or” I did 10 push ups, maybe I can do 15″. The reply to not able to do yoga would be;” you could when you start training”. Which coincides with the infamous saying of the father of Ashthanga yoga himself, Sri K Pattabhi Jois; “practice, practice, practice and all will come.
Running will not make your physical practice of asana better, but yoga will definitely make your running better, physically speaking. As long as runners can make peace with that idea, it will make it a whole lot easier to move through 1st series ashtanga yoga for 90 minutes. You are bound to be tight, but without yoga you will only get tighter and probably experience more injuries.
Both in 90 mins of ashtanga yoga or 90 minutes of running you will have to overcome the quitter’s mind. That during 90 minutes of either activity you are probably going to question yourself ; “What was I thinking to do 90 minutes of yoga/running.” Something is going to hurt, some posture, or mile is going to be brutal, and you might start to lose your motivation. When doing anything physical you are going to run up against that voice in your head that is the pessimist, the nay-sayer. This is where running and yoga are similar. They are both working on the mind, more than on the body. Your body can do just about anything it is the mind that is often the limited factor.
When practicing / training 99% of the people are actually facing doubt, insecurity, worry, fear the “negative” self. The nay-sayer voice that around mile 16 tells you, “You can’t do it.”, is the same voice in yoga that will try to tell you you can’t come up out of a back drop either. The voice is the same, it comes from the same place and can be put to rest the same way no matter if it’s running or yoga. The yoga teacher, Tim Miller, likes to say “Experience is the remover of doubt.” Every time you run 5 miles, it erases the doubt that you can’t run 6. Every time you run 6, it erases the doubt that I can’t do 7. .
The surya namaskars are equivalent to the first mile of any run you go on. It’s the warm up mile, where you find your legs and the rhythm of your breathing. The standing poses are equivalent to a 5k (3 miles), it’s enough of a run on a busy day. The seated postures, up to Marichyasana are equal to about 5 miles. Right in the heart of what are commonly called the speed pump poses in ashtanga there is navasana, bhujapidasana, kurmasana. These are like mile 6, where you start second guessing yourself, and this crazy idea of staying fit. Mile 7 of a 9 mile run starts to smooth out just a bit as you start thinking you’re in the home stretch. Just like the poses baddha konasana, upavishta konasana, and supta padangsthasana do in yoga. You might think backbends are mile 9, but they are only mile 8, you must save enough energy after backbends to complete your inversions and come in strong to savasana. Savasana is equivalent to the cool down after a long run. You don’t just sit down after a long run, or you will quickly stiffen up. You will struggle just to get your shoes off later, if you don’t incorporate a good cool down. Savasana is necessary and so is a good cool down walk after a long run.

The rhythm of breathing, the rhythm of the legs and arms working together, and how the pessimistic mind doesn’t have to win out. Most runs and most yoga practices conquer negativity. Push through the rough spots and come out on the other end better for it. Staring down your inner self has a profound way of changing you. Running and yoga remove doubts by doing the things that you thought couldn’t be done.
Running tightens you, Yoga will save you from injuries and even burn-out. It will also give your running longevity. Ashtanga yoga is an excellent tool for building strength, flexibility, reducing anxiety, and keeping a person fit. To give an inner focus which often lacked and increased body awareness. Running tightens and stresses the body; it can be harsh and jarring. Yoga strengthens the entire body; lubricates each joint; deepens and calms the breath; and, in addition to all the physical and emotional benefits, is a deeply spiritual practice that makes us more mindful and peaceful.
Deep or diaphragmatic (as opposed to chest breathing) brings more oxygen deeper into the lungs, ultimately engaging the parasympathetic nervous system. When were are in “parasympathetic dominance,” the mind is calmer, the heart rate is slower, less stress hormones are produced, and perceived exertion decreases.
In “Going the Distance”, (again in Yoga Journal, though this one is available to read online), Nancy Coulter-Parker writes about increasing athletic endurance—what she defines as “the ability to persevere”—with yoga, which made her feel strong and capable. Through her asana practice she became intimate with her breath, and learned what pushing too hard sounds and feels like. Before yoga she felt like her body was an inanimate object outside of herself. Something that, for better or worse, hung dispassionately from her head. Yoga has and continues to reintroduce and reintegrate herself to herself.
Yoga helps athletes focus on what is going on inside the body. It is really good at honing that internal voice,” she says. And because Ashtanga is so physically challenging, she has been forced to cultivate the yogic practices of mindfulness, awareness and non-self.
Yoga is not an athletic endeavor. It is much more, and in some ways, more difficult (much like the practice of maintaining self worth apart from achieving the full expression of a particular pose). So while runners should be mindful of the practice they choose, the lessons yoga has to teach any athlete are many. The yoga’s tradition of interconnectedness where all things—including running—are as divine (and yogic) as you let them be.
Often, even our understanding of “concentration” is equated with a straining mental force. In meditation we begin to learn that real concentration depends on a light, delicate, patient kind of mental control, and in time this becomes an effortless, undistracted mindfulness. Both Ashthanga vinyasa yoga  and running, or anything else with a repetitive rhythm (like just breathing!), helps to enable that mind falling “into the moment”.

Based on the post by Stand and face the sun, Posted on 11/15/2013 and other online articles.
Related Online Articles:
BoulderRunning.com, “Runner’s Best Friend – Downward Dog,” by Katrina Mohr.
LA Yoga, “Running into Yoga,” by Ryan Allen
Yoga.com, “How Yoga Can Better Your Running Technique,” by Maia Appleby
Yoga Journal, “Yoga for Runners,” by Baron Baptiste and Kathleen Finn Mendola
“Running Buddahs ” Christopher J. Hayden wrote and produced a 1992 documentary on the the monks of Mount Hiei and John Stevens wrote the book The Marathon Monks of Mount Hiei, published by Shambhala Publications.

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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

ginger for tapas

ginger for tapas

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 >
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.

Tapas, Sanskrit for purifying heat, austerity. A daily asana practice builds Tapas, zest, discipline. Fire, the element that transforms, earth into water, water into air. Where would the body be without its heat, the digestive fire, the burning fire of the heart, the fire in the eyes and the fire of the mind. The digestive system and digestion is the basis of our mental and physical health. Yoga and Ginger both can play a key role in it. Asana stimulate and massages the internal organs, promotes digestion, pranayama takes it further with exercises like kapala bhati and bhastrika, pratyahara turns the fire of the eyes within, dharyana uses the fire of the mind to reach a single-pointed mind, and meditation can be compared with a steady flame at a windless spot. Completely still yet in full combustion.
from tao te ching;
The Tao is like a bellows:
it is empty yet infinitely capable.
The more you use it, the more it produces;
the more you talk of it, the less you understand.
Hold on to the center.

A direct benefit of Ginger for yoga asana is its long standing reputation for reducing swelling and inflammation. Ginger contains a very potent anti-inflammatory compound called gingerols, which are thought to be the reason why so many people see pain relief from osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. (Traditional ayurvedic texts recommend ginger for therapeutic use for joint pain) It has a healing and restorative effect after a more intense practice. Raw foods that are chlorophyll dominant combined with ginger promote prana (life-force). Ginger fans the digestive fire and makes food easier to digest. It also whets the appetite, improves assimilation and transportation of nutrients to targeted body tissues, and clears the micro-circulatory channels of the body. Using less energy for digestion, the body can redirect this energy to your (spiritual) practice. The few situations in which ginger is contraindicated are in cases of hyper-acidity, during any form of hemorrhage (including menstruation), vertigo and chronic skin disease. Other than in these situations, ginger is an excellent spice that can be used daily.

Ginger is used widely in ayurveda and modern science seems to comply, by way of worldwide research; ratifies its effectiveness in preventing motion or airsickness, improving digestion and its pro-analgesic effect on the joints, particularly in early stages of rheumatoid arthritis.

Ginger is a spicy aromatic, good at stimulating the mind, promoting insight, perception and the tapas in the body mind. It is also considered sattvic (balanced).

The easiest way to bring ginger in your daily diet is by adding some slices of fresh ginger to your tea, or just adding hot water to the slices of ginger. A famous variation is; hot lemon ginger tea. One of the spices in the Indian Chai is ginger.

This information has 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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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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