January 28, 2013

Winter Season Ayurvedic Tips

Posted in Uncategorized at 4:03 pm by DivineShantiYoga

Last week in classes, I talked a bit about how we can balance our personal energies based on the winter season and according to Ayurveda, and how to experience each day from a more balanced state.

Ayurveda is an ancient Indian philosophy which literally means “the science of life.” This science of life teaches us to maintain balance in our bodies and minds as a way of preventing any dis-ease in these areas.

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January can be a very over-active time for Vata energy, which is dry, cold, bitter, jittery, highly active, and anxious. If you are feeling like these qualities are elevated, or even over-active in yourself, here are some simple lifestyle changes you can make to create more balance and comfort:

  • If you are cold, put on a sweater, socks or a blanket. (seems like common sense, but we don’t always do it) 🙂
  • Allow time for periodic rest periods throughout your day. (5-10 minutes of spontaneous svasana can be VERY healing and balancing!)
  • Eat foods that are cooked, warm/hot, moist, and oily like soups, roasted veggies, chili, etc. (this means healthy oils like sesame or olive oil)
  • Massage your entire body with organic oil and let sit for 5-30 minutes before showering or bathing, and do not neglect the soles of your feet and your scalp. Organic sesame oil is great here, and feels sensational! Please be sure to ground your step upon entering tub or shower, you will be slippery.
  • Invite an Asana practice into your life that includes slooooww moving postures that naturally build heat within the body. A faster-moving practice can aggravate this seasons Vata energy.

In the future, when early Spring approaches, this is when you will be best balanced with a faster-paced asana practice and eating more cold, raw foods like salads. Save them for Spring, and cook your spinach for now! 😉

 

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January 8, 2013

Hearty Cabbage Soup Recipe

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:06 pm by DivineShantiYoga

Mmm, love these recipes that I can take advantage of my winter garden crop AND cabbage is one of our cancer-fighting super foods. This is so hearty, it’s more like a casserole. I think the hubby will even love it (and he doesn’t love cabbage). I’ve just made croutons with my leftover bread, so in lieu of the hard bread, I’ll just use the croutons.

cabbage pic

Ingredients:

  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 3/4lb. Cabbage, shredded
  • 1 qt. vegetable stock
  • Salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 4-8 slices of day-old firm textured bread, toasted
  • 8 Tbsp. freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

Saute’ the garlic in oil in large saucepan over low heat until pale gold, 2-3 minutes. Add the cabbage and saute’ until wilted. Pour in veggie stock and simmer for 40 minutes. Season with salt & pepper. Preheat oven to 350`. Place a layer of toasted bread in dutch oven or casserole dish. Sprinkle with parmesan, and pour in 1 1/2 cups of the soup. Repeat layering until all ingredients are used. Bake for 10 minutes and serve hot.

 

January 4, 2013

Creating a 2013 Personal Mantra

Posted in Uncategorized at 1:53 pm by DivineShantiYoga

In classes this week, we have focused on creating personal mantras for the year. There can be a lot of power in just one word. One word that stays with you throughout the year, and a word that signifies something you would like to be (or be surrounded with) more of. You never know when this word (your mantra for the year) will pop into your awareness and you will be able to reflect and act upon. It’s just one word! 🙂

Last year, my mantra was “music”. Throughout the whole year, I vowed to surround myself with more music, and a musical year it was! We chanted more in classes, enjoyed live music in classes, and invited musicians from around the globe to come to Charlotte. My personal musical instrument collection has grown, and throughout the year I’ve attended countless regular live music events and/or Kirtan events around Charlotte and Asheville, including chanting with Bhagavan Das and The Wild Lotus Band. My harmonium playing and voice practice is progressing. Wow! Let voices sing!DSC01404

This year, as cliche’ as it may be…my word is “fitness”. It has been two years since this body was hospitalized for months, and has been cancer-free now for a year and half! Woo Hoo! Over the past couple of years of recovery, interestingly enough, I’ve not felt physically strong enough to really push myself…but now I am! So, fitness will fill my year, and strong bodied I will become once again! 🙂

Some of you have shared with me this week what your personal mantra is for the year, and here are some personal mantras you’ve shared for 2013:

  • Be Present
  • Purge
  • Quilt
  • Meditate
  • Balance
  • Slow Down
  • Red

These are incredible! Thank you for sharing, and if you haven’t already created a personal mantra for yourself for 2013, there’s still time! Find a quiet space and time to sit and breathe. Listen to the Universe speak to you, a personal mantra will become clear. This is just a simple word that signifies what you choose to surround yourself more with this year! Keep it for the entire year, re-visit it at any time. Blessings to you!