Cooling summer drink

Ingredients for cooling summer drinkSweet bitter and astringent are the tastes that pacify pitta energy, the one governing in the warmest third of the year. The summer heat is best pacified by what the nature provides in harvest at the moment and the tastes mentioned earlier are present in this produce. A great cooling summer fruit is pomegranate. Add some of its seeds to your salads and squeeze some fresh fruit out of it. We here in the shop also have pomegranate juice and a pomegranate molasses, all great additions to your summer kitchen. A great cooling summer juice to cool you down is

1 part pomegranate juice

1 part aloe vera juice

1 part cucumber

Fresh mint

Mix together in a mixer and enjoy, preferably room temperature or without ice. Anything cold slows down your digestion and creates sluggishness and mucous in your digestive system. Also, cold drinks do not quench your thirst well but are likely to increase mucous, which easily creates when you have e.g. an unnamed black fizzy drink. Highly sugary drinks generally are not good to drink for thirst so between an occasional juice like the above, drink plenty of warm or room temperature water and enjoy the sun!

Hanging out with Rebecca in Portobello

rebeccaI enjoy working in Kensal Rise for many reasons one being its closeness to such cool places like Portobello. Having found out that the co-founder of the yoga teacher training school Yoga London lives just there is a great excuse for me to detach from the usual work surrounding and get some inspiration.

Rebecca Ffrench has been in an incredibly successful journey with Yoga London and has created, with her co-founder, a business of wellbeing and positive energy. I myself give a module on ayurveda in this teacher-training course of viniyasa style. Having been there since the beginning I have come to greatly admire Rebecca for her achievements and am happy that now she lives around the corner and we can share a cuppa down Portobello.

Nowadays, Rebecca does not do much teaching in the school but has moved into marketing and managing of her business including creating a retreat and training space in nothing less than Equador. They have already organised one teacher training this year in this wonderful eco-resort, rustic and close to nature, perfect for a yoga enthusiast who wants to get in touch with the real things. Rebecca is clearly very happy about finding this resort so I recommend everyone to have a look at the highlights in here. I think you’ll start feeling the same.

Life – Light – Love

Anu

P.s. If you feel inspired to sign into the Equador course or retreat do mention you got the pointer from me. 😉

A little heart to heart

SAMSUNG CSCLike every parent I connect with my little one through play and laughter, closeness and conversation. The connection you make through touch is the most powerful and there are different ways to make it even more so.  When the time is right, I create a bit more awareness than usual in the play and take it to the heart level, where the spirit dwells.

I try to do my morning yoga routine before she wakes up. Usually this is fine but sometimes she wakes up and walks up to the lounge where I’ve set up my mat and all the useful paraphernalia. She has always had a weird understanding of not disturbing me in my practice so I usually can carry out my routine until my meditation. Then she just comes and lies on my lap and even falls asleep whilst I work on my mind.

I also find her sometimes walking around our home with my prayer beads chanting yam yam yam yam. She sometimes hears me doing this as I work on my heart or anahata chakra during my morning routine. Yam is the bija mantra for this particular chakra. She sometimes again sits on my lap and I place my hand on her heart and go on chanting.

When I put her to bed I give her a massage, which not only nourishes her skin (with eczema) but calms and grounds her quickly so she can get a good sleep. After having massaged the legs, back , arms and tummy I concentrate on her ears and finally on the heart. In a few seconds she usually falls asleep. It is magical.

The palm of your hand is an energy point, or marma, which is associated with your heart. When you walk hand in hand you are actually walking heart to heart. When you massage another human being with your hands you are actually touching them with your heart. The power of touch by hand whether it is by holding or massaging goes into much deeper levels of your being or your shared space of existence. It is amazing to give your child a heart powered sensory experience creating a calming, grounding and replenishing moment of rest. An evening massage routine is especially recommended for children with problems of overcharged nervous systems and the ones being over exposed to media. Or even, like in our case today, if you’ve had a busy day playing in the park running around randomly eating all sorts of picnic foods and being absolutely exhausted when getting home.

My daughter resting there on my lap while meditating or chanting is one of the most wonderful things in my experience of motherhood. Your hands are a tool to connect on a spiritual level, in your core being. Through them you can communicate peace and love, creating a magical space of energy, devotion and compassion. Your heart is in your hand, always.

P.s. A heart massage is also one of the best ways of healing from having lost a loved one or after breaking up a relationship. You can do this to yourself as an easy remedy to bring some comfort and grounding in a period of heartache.

For heart massage: use warm oil and massage first clockwise to stimulate the area and then anti-clockwise to calm down. At the end just hold the hand on the heart for a few minutes and then place a warm towel or a hot water bottle on top.

 

Jogging is not always a good way to lose fat

jogging-ehow-depanJust read an interesting article by Ben Hanton, which has caused a bit of stir between Huffington Post readers. This article (finally) states that jogging is not a good form of exercise for weight loss. Yes, I totally agree but I have to agree with the fact a few people pointed out that long distance runners are never overweight. I will explain the logic behind this.

Jogging is not a good exercise to start a weight loss program. You need strength and stamina to jog. In fact, jogging with poor strength and stamina often only make the body to withhold fats and not to release toxins stored in fatty tissue.  A good weight loss exercise is where you manage to breath through your nose without effort throughout the practice. And often long distance runners can do that. It is because they have built up strength and stamina to do that. An overweight person with reduced muscle tissue, who has not exercised for a period of time or never is certainly not going to benefit from jogging. The key is to build stamina gradually. If jogging is what you want to do as your form of exercise and you haven’t got previous experience start by walking. Then in intervals increase walking speed remembering always to breath through the nose, comfortably. When brisk walking is comfortable take a few steps running but come back to walking pace when you start gasping air through your mouth. This way you build your body gradually and safely to withstand more demanding exercise and have a chance to lose plenty of calories by relaxed jogging.

The body loses weight easily when it is relaxed. Jogging without appropriate training and especially gasping air through your mouth is only going to create stress. When under stress the body wants to withhold to everything it has, especially fat.

Ghee is the love of my life

SAMSUNG CSCGhee is the love of my life. My story with this healthiest of the healthy fats is a story with a happy ending.

Ghee has myriad health benefits, not least being the best one to fry with. You might have heard about fats going rancid or turning into those harmful, trans fat ones when heated. Ghee does not go bad quickly. In fact Teflon goes bad before ghee does. So, if you need to enjoy fried food, make sure you fry it in ghee. I have even changed olive oil in my Italian kitchen to ghee. I add the olive oil at the end of cooking so that it keeps its good qualities and I get the flavour I want.

When good quality ghee is used in reasonable quantities it reduces blood cholesterol, enhances digestion and metabolism. In fact, the gut produces ghee on its own, called butyric acid, and without it the gut cannot function properly. Ghee is also brain food, it nourishes and lubricates the nervous system and is very good for the eyes. In fact, I often prescribe an application of ghee straight into the eyes for those having problems with dryness, heat and tiredness. I also heal eye infections with ghee, the last one being those of my 3-year-old. Talk to my previous receptionist. She had an infection in both eyes and it was dealt within three days with a frequent application of ghee. It works wonders.

Here’s how to make it:

  • Melt 2-3 packs of organic unsalted butter in a pot

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  • Let the butter melt really, really slowly so the milk residue (proteins) settle at the bottom of the pot

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  • Pour the mixture through a muslin cloth and what is strained through the cloth is fresh ghee

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If your hob is too hot to let the butter melt slowly, don’t worry – you can still obtain good ghee by slowly letting it boil for a few hours. The milk solids then come to the surface and you can peel them off and, in the end, pour the mixture through a muslin cloth to get your homemade ghee.