Follow along as this low-impact sequence is demonstrated and explained. Pay attention to the details, stay mindful in transitions, feel free to modify. One should not ignore any pain in joints, lower back or neck, so as you learn, please take your time to find good alignment in each of the postures, make sure to transition from posture to posture slowly and carefully. Once you can go through the whole sequence smoothly, with breathing and heart-rate steady, repeat two to ten times.
The middle of the summer is the most ideal time to cleanse. After the partying from the holidays is over, and before we head into the dog days of summer's end, why not lighten up and reaffirm your commitment to your practice and a healthy lifestyle?!
Almost every culture in the world has a custom of fasting or cleansing at least once a year. If you think about how you change the oil in your car every 3000 miles in order to clean the built up residues and plaques out of the engine to make your vehicle run more optimally, then apply the same logic to your own body when contemplating a nutritional cleanse or juice fast. Like different makes of cars, human body types have different needs vis-à-vis cleansing. Some people might benefit from longer more austere cleanses, while others might be able to hit the reset button with just a couple of days of eliminating unwholesome ingredients from their diets. We have selected a 3 day protocol for this Yoga and juicing workshop, which should be approachable to most body-types/doshas. You will only be juicing for 2 days (Saturday July 20 and Sunday July 21). We recommend preparing for the cleanse & Yoga workshop by eliminating toxic elements from your diet for at least 3 days prior.
Don't live in the Rhinebeck, NY area? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for information on lovely places to stay in the Hudson Valley for the weekend!
A sample of our morning class at Maya Tulum. Warming up to the sea breeze and rising sun each day was bliss!
Guest Blog Post by Sarah Willis, Founder of SVARAyoga.com
Hi my name is Sarah Willis. I am a Mother of a 1-year-old Son, and an advanced certified Yoga teacher. I host a Yoga retreat in the beautiful Tulum Mexico every year. I have traveled to the Yucatán in the South Eastern part of Mexico since the 90s, and the magical beauty of this ancient paradise captivates me and draws me back again and again.
...Read it live on WillyBMum.com
4th Annual Maya Tulum Retreat April 13 - 20, 2013The Dance, Weaving Ashtanga & Vinyasa Teachings Join us for our annual Maya Tulum Yoga retreat, and have a lot of fun connecting to your practice and the rythms of nature in this tropical paradise! Greet sunrise with an Ashtanga practice, then after enjoying a delicious breakfast, spend the day on the beach, relaxing in the spa, or out having fun. We regroup in the afternoon for workshop-style Vinyasa class with a different focus each day.Read More
Dr. Eden Fromberg , pictured executing a fancy-looking Yoga pose called Ashtavakrasana, a Gynecologist and Doctor of Osteopathy who was featured in the Rikki Lake / Abby Epstein film, "the Business of Being Born," talks about the importance of Yoga for proper joint function and respiratory function, and how it relates to our neuromuscular core. Fascinating! Read the article from TheDO Magazine.
‘Self-OMT’: Yoga boosts patients’ structure and function, DOs say
“Yoga helps the joints move through their various ranges of motion,” says Eden G. Fromberg, DO, the director of a yoga studio in Manhattan. (Photo by Mila Radulovic)
BY ROSE RAYMOND / STAFF EDITOR
The patient, an editor, had suffered from years of unexplained sciatic back pain and leg pain. After visits to physicians and physical therapists proved unsuccessful, he ended up in the Manhattan office of Lillie M. Rosenthal, DO.
“Nothing really helped,” she says. “And he came to see me, and about two months after seeing me he was maybe 50% better.”
Dr. Rosenthal, who is board certified in physical medicine and rehabilitation, was helping the patient by providing osteopathic manipulative treatment. After a few months, she suggested that the patient add yoga to his therapeutic regimen. He hired a private instructor and his condition rapidly improved. After just a month of OMT and yoga—one session per week for each—he said he was 90% better.
“It’s really dramatic because the chronicity of his problem was so frustrating for him and me,” she says. “We just really wanted to get him going. So the combination of OMT and yoga is great.”
Yoga as a physical activity has become increasingly popular in the U.S. Roughly 20 million Amerians practice yoga, an increase of 29% from 2008,according to a 2012 study released by Yoga Journal. Some of these yoga practitioners also receive OMT. Major studies examining yoga practice and its impact on OMT patients have not been conducted, but Dr. Rosenthal and other DOs say yoga can provide many benefits to them.
Because many yoga poses work the muscles in a fashion similar to OMT, Dr. Rosenthal refers to yoga as self-OMT.
“There are several fascia-release techniques that mimic some yoga poses,” she says.
Yoga practitioner Jim Preddy, DO, also describes the practice as self-OMT.
“Yoga focuses on breathing and manipulation of the ribs and spine. These things are very central to all of our OMT theories,” says Dr. Preddy, an emergency physician in Las Vegas who also teaches anatomy to yoga instructors.
Patients may preserve the effects of OMT for longer by doing Locusts, Rabbits and other yoga poses, he says.
“Doing yoga might change how often you need to receive OMT,” Dr. Preddy says. “It might prolong the benefits that you’re getting.”
Dr. Rosenthal agrees. OMT patients can build on the progress they make by using yoga to keep the body in good structural alignment, she says, and yoga helps to strengthen the muscles, improve flexibility and unwind the fascia.
Yoga may be of particular help to patients with back pain, says Eden G. Fromberg, DO, who is AOA board certified in obstetrics-gynecology and the director of Lila Yoga, Dharma & Wellness, a yoga studio in Manhattan.
“When I was in college I had a book called Yoga and Medicine,” she says. “I remember clearly where it said what would help you the most for back pain. They did various studies, and they said yoga helps more than anything else on the list. Osteopathic manipulation was not on the list, but chiropractic was.
“Yoga won hands down above everything else as helping back pain. I was aware early on that you can’t just put your hands on people and then say, ‘OK, you’re fixed.’ They’re going to slide back into their old patterns if they keep moving in the same way. Changing their movement patterns is essential, and there are different ways to do it. But I always did it through yoga, so of course I saw the connection and would often steer people in that direction.”
Yoga styles explained
Wondering which yoga style promotes relaxation and which focuses on flexibility? Here’s a brief overview of some of the most popular styles.
Hatha yoga: Many yoga styles fall under the umbrella of Hatha yoga, which is described by Yoga Journal as a physical discipline focusing on sequences of poses and breathwork.
Iyengar yoga: Developed by B.K.S. Iyengar, an influential nonagenarian yogi, this style focuses on alignment. Classes tend to be more slow-moving; practitioners hold poses for longer times. Students are encouraged to use props such as blocks and straps for assistance with poses.
Vinyasa yoga: A faster-paced style in which students transition from pose to pose quickly and focus on flowing postures and rhythmic breathing. This style provides more of an aerobic workout and encompasses other fast styles such as Ashtanga yoga and Power yoga.
Ashtanga yoga: Emphasis is placed on breathing and nonstop transition from pose to pose in this faster style. Students work through six different sequences of poses, each more difficult than the last. When a student masters the first, or easiest, sequence, he or she graduates to the next one. This system allows students to progress at their own pace.
Power yoga: This style is Ashtanga yoga’s Western cousin. Power yoga teachers focus on the “workout” aspect of yoga; students rapidly progress through pose sequences designed to strengthen the upper body and improve flexibility and balance.
Bikram yoga: The brainchild of yogi Bikram Choudhury, Bikram yoga is characterized by a 100-plus-degree practice space and a set sequence of 26 poses designed to work the muscles and cleanse the organs. The room is heated for the purpose of releasing the body’s toxins.
Viniyoga: This is a gentler style of yoga that focuses on breathing and relaxation. Sequences and classes are often tailored to meet individual needs; for instance, children are prescribed different poses than adults.
Sources: Yoga Journal, WebMD.com
Dr. Rosenthal talks about another patient, a new patient with recurrent intermittent low back pain. She had been to many physicians over the years, but the patient says yoga helped her the most.
“It’s pretty amazing,” Dr. Rosenthal says. “We always think, ‘The doctor’s going to fix me,’ but that’s not necessarily always true. We can help and direct people, but that was her experience.”
How yoga helps
Just how does yoga bring these benefits to patients? Like OMT, yoga focuses on movement and structure, DOs say.
“Yoga helps the joints move through their various ranges of motion and can also coordinate the activity of the respiratory diaphragm and the deep neuromuscular core,” says Dr. Fromberg.
Although the delivery methods vary, yoga and OMT both affect the body’s structure to improve function, Dr. Rosenthal says.
“Yoga almost cements what OMT can do,” she says. “It’s a beautiful adjunct of something active and something passive, which reminds the body and the mind of the same thing, which is keeping flexible, being in your body, releasing tension and really changing the postural habit.”
Darcy G. Thomas, DO, says she thinks of yoga as a tool she can give patients so they can more actively work on their recovery. Dr. Thomas, a family physician who specializes in osteopathic manipulative medicine in Arlington, Mass., and teaches yoga, encouraged a patient with back problems to try yoga, and he was elated to find an activity he could do on his own.
“This had been a recurring event in his life, pulling out his back,” she says. “He had started yoga classes and was really seeing the benefits, and he felt for the first time that he had a tool to deal with this problem that had continually been happening.”
Consider style, teacher
For all its virtues, yoga as a fitness tool does have drawbacks—mainly that inexperienced practitioners can hurt themselves by straining their muscles, says John Kepner, the executive director of the International Association of Yoga Therapists in Prescott, Ariz. For instance, more older people now attend yoga classes, but they might not be suited to the fast-paced yoga that is popular in many gyms.
“So you get into a Power yoga class, and it’s a gym, so they can encourage people to practice too hard,” he says. “That’s how people get hurt in yoga. They push too hard. The key is to go to a class that’s appropriate for you.”
It’s not uncommon, Dr. Fromberg says, for yoga students to suffer tendon and ligament strains. She suggests students pay attention to signals of pain or fear coming from their body during yoga practice and check in with an instructor to make sure proceeding won’t cause injury.
“A good teacher can help a student learn what proper alignment is,” she says. “But the student also has to cultivate a degree of self-perception and inner awareness.”
Jim Preddy, DO, gives yoga teachers an anatomy lesson. (Photo courtesy of Dr. Preddy)
Although none of the physicians interviewed for this article said OMT patients would necessarily need to be more cautious than the general public when practicing yoga, several noted that it’s good for all yoga practitioners, OMT patients included, to be aware of different yoga styles and the varying experience levels of teachers.
“You know when you get a DO, you have someone who’s had at least four years of medical school, who has a license to practice in his or her state,” says Ronald V. Marino, DO, MPH, who teaches yoga in Babylon, N.Y. “Yoga teachers are not credentialed and certified in the same way. So you can have someone who’s had a two-day course in yoga teaching, and then you can get people who spend their lives immersed in yoga. You need to be aware of your teacher’s expertise and skills.”
There are the different styles of yoga to consider as well, says Dr. Fromberg. For instance, Vinyasa yoga and Ashtanga yoga are generally faster and more aerobic, while Iyengar yoga is more focused on alignment.
“Because Iyengar is more methodical and alignment-oriented than Vinyasa-oriented styles, it’s often safer and more accessible for a novice,” she says.
Smaller classes, where students can receive more individualized training from teachers, are also ideal, Dr. Fromberg says, and she has recommended private instructors for patients with severe injuries.
Some patients may not be able to afford private lessons. Dr. Rosenthal notes that an advantage of yoga is it can be done at home.
“You don’t need fancy equipment, you don’t necessarily need a gym,” she says. “You can get a video from the library for free and do it at home.”
It’s also beneficial for physicians to learn some of the yoga poses in order to better understand patients, Dr. Rosenthal says.
“It would be valuable for doctors to educate themselves on a couple of basic poses so when patients say, ‘I’m in yoga, and I’m doing a Downward-Facing Dog,’ you know that there is weight bearing on the feet and the hands,” she says. “Or simply ask the patient to demonstrate it.”
And Dr. Preddy suggests DOs try yoga themselves before recommending it as a therapeutic option for their patients.
“You can really only evaluate what’s going to go on with your patients by trying it out,” he says. “Not everybody can run, but everybody can swim and everybody can do yoga.”
In case you need any more convincing that Sarah's upcoming Yoga retreat to Maya Tulum, April 13 - 20, 2013, is going to be awesome, the eco-conscious resort was just named in the top 10 of Yoga retreats worldwide by Gayot, the guide to the good life. Read more
There are many marvels in and around Tulum, Mexico. Cenotes, or jungle caves interconnected by fresh water rivers, are breathtaking and exhilarating to explore. It makes a traveler feel intrepid to go into the jungle and discover some wonder concealed to the untrained eye. Anthony and I went exploring cenotes around Tulum last year during the Yoga retreat-- we didn't repel down into a tiny hole in the rocks, but we climbed down some steep rope ladders and swam in the truly jewel colored waters in the cenotes. The water is amazing for your skin and body, having absorbed minerals from deep down in the earth, plus the jungle mud is pure skin heaven, and used in the spa treatments at Maya Tulum. Make sure to get a Mayan Clay massage and rinse it off in the sea! So many fabulous things await us in Tulum. Viva Tulum!
Join us for our 2013 Tulum Vacation
The Dance, Weaving Ashtanga & Vinyasa Forms - more info
Check out our video about my Ashtanga workshop at Bodhi Spa & Yoga in Hudson, NY! Feel most welcome to join us for the fun! xo, Namaste, Sarah Ashtanga Yoga Weekend Intensive January 26 & 27, 2013 with Sarah Willis @ Bodhi Spa & Yoga * 543 Warren St Hudson, NY
15% off any spa treatment for 2day participants
Ashtanga Yoga is a fun, challenging and transformational practice. It is part of an ancient tradition dating back to 500BC, with many of its teachings passed down in an unbroken chain. Adventure beyond the surface of this exciting practice.
$42 for both days, $25 per day at door
Preregister online: www.BodhiHolisticSpa.com Preregister by phone: 518 828-2233
So excited to present this workshop next weekend at the
gorgeous Bodhi Spa & Yoga in Hudson, New York.
Please join me for one or both days. Om Shanthih.
Click here> to register online ...or call 518.828.2233
So beautiful!!! http://youtu.be/gMTQUmPbgcg
Tulum Mexico has been one of my all time top destinations since the 90s! I have gone back nearly every year, and have led retreats to Maya Tulum for the last 4 years in a row. The Caribbean, the Mayan Ruins, the spiritual culture of this ancient paradise are unparalleled. It is unspoiled, and infused with healing and vibrant energy, and beautiful people, both locals and travelers. I knew it was an amazing culinary destination in addition to a beachcombers' paradise, but who knew it was such a chic sought after spot by fabulous fashion insiders too? Check out this New York Times article: The Quiet End of the Runway
Join us for our 2013 Tulum retreat - The Dance, Weaving Ashtanga and Vinyasa Forms - more info
I have the most amazing 1 year-old boy. His name is Elias. He is starting to toddle everywhere. He is a total cuddler and wild man at the same time. We have carpeted staircases with bookshelves running along the wall next to the stairs. Eli likes to pick books off the shelf sometimes. He came across a very miniature Hindi English dictionary that I got at some point during my travels to India. Eli is fascinated by it. He takes his chubby little fingers and tries to separate out the pages, and he makes a low consonant sound while looking intently at the tiny book. He is sure to be fluent in Hindi soon after he masters English. Today, my son picked out the following books from the shelf:
“Atma Bodha” – Self Analysis & Self Knowledge” By R.S. Mishra, M.D.
“Aghora II” By Robert Svoboda
“Ramakrishna and His Disciples” By Christopher Isherwood
I think he is trying to tell me that I need to venture back to my roots. Classical and Tantric Yoga study is what inspires these texts, all a bit heady, but chock full of rich, sometimes hard-to-digest, wisdom.
When I was first introduced to the world of Yoga, it was through the cult of the beautiful flexible body. I went far into the discipline of Yoga Asana, and worked night and day to carve out a new shape, and near mastery over the movements of my muscular-skeletal system. I also meditated hard in Vipassana courses, depriving myself of sugar and carbohydrates so I could feel light and pass less gas as I sat on the holy main hall floor in the dead of winter. My intrigue was further piqued by the Sanskrit mantras that typically opened and closed the classes I attended daily. I was 24 years old and had got bit big time by the Yoga bug.
Since then my studies and teaching stints have taken me from NYC to LA to India to Croatia to Mexico. And I’m still going back to most of those places to teach and see colleagues who have become dear old friends, as that’s what happens when you find yourself in a Satsang (Sanskrit for a group of like-minded / hearted individuals) of people who are practicing intently together.
“Atma Bodha,” a text by Shankaracharya, dated at around 800AD, describes the exalted liberated state of the union of Atman and Brahman, or the end of dualism. I had the great privilege to study this text in depth with amazing Yogi, Richard Freeman in 2007 over the course of a 60 hour advanced teachers’ workshop with other serious students and teachers. “The soul appears to be finite because of ignorance. When ignorance is destroyed the self which does not admit of any multiplicity truly reveals itself by itself.” Shankaracharya goes further to say that the Yogi must give up his likes and dislikes in order to be united with peace. I have played with this idea since it was first introduced to me. Here’s the process I went through: “why should I give up what I like?” I first asked myself, somewhat defiant. The idea of giving up what one doesn’t like is a bit easier, naturally, but then something interesting begins to happen when we consider giving up the story of our personal preferences. For example, if I really don’t like avocados, which as I child I didn’t, then I should be free not to eat them, right? But what if I decided to try one anyway. And what if it has been so long that my tastes have changed. I take a bite of guacamole, and I go, “man, this is great!” Now what do I do? Some way that I have defined myself, that I have become attached to defining myself according to, is no longer true! I tried the avocado, and despite what I thought I liked, it’s now good to me. So this is mostly a teaching about non-attachment. It also throws us up against the notion of being attached to our definitions of ourselves. Another story that I used to tell myself was that I would never be able to do Padmasana (the lotus pose), or Hanumanasana (split pose). I just wasn’t built that way, I thought. Then I tried 2 years of daily Ashtanga Yoga and Jivamukti practice . . . you guessed it: now I can accomplish both postures. So cool! So a tip of the hat to Shankaracharya is in order, who in one of the final slokas of the treatise, says:
By hearing, thinking, and meditating, the light of the Self is kindled. Once this light of Self is kindled, the individual “I” becomes free from all impurities. It begins to shine forth as the Universal “I,” in the same way as gold shines when it is purified by fire.
The applied lesson for me this week: Physical Yoga practice is purification for the bones, organs, nerves, muscles. Still this is not enough. I must use my mental faculties to meditate, to stay on the point. The asanas are the departure point for igniting the light of the true Self, who is indivisible and without a second. Back on the meditation cushion, I am going back, folks. Thank you Elias, thank you Shankaracharya, thank you Richard.
Yoga Cures: Thyroid Imbalance
By Ana Mantica
From sleep to weight to fertility, your thyroid manages it all. The small butterfly-shaped gland located in your neck pumps out hormones that play a key role in how your body functions. According to the American Associate of Clinical Endocrinologists, some 27 million Americans may have a problem with their thyroid. What’s more, research shows that 1 in 10 Americans, mostly women, have some form of dysfunction and don’t know it. A thyroid imbalance can occur if your gland isn’t making sufficient hormones (hypothyroidism), or when it’s working overtime (hyperthyroidism). People who have hypothyroidism often feel tired or cold, have trouble sleeping, or weight gain, while those who have hyperthyroidism often feel nervous or restless, have increased sweating, period irregularities, and unexplained weight loss.
Doctors often prescribe medications including synthetic hormones and radioactive iodine to treat thyroid imbalance. “I was told in my early 20s by my doctors that there was no cure, and that I would have to take a hormones everyday for the rest of my life,” says Sarah Willis, owner of Red Hook Yoga Workshop in Brooklyn, New York, and who started practicing yoga 15 years ago to treat her own hypothyroidism. “That didn’t sound great, and it didn’t make me feel good at all. So I started researching other options, and that brought me to yoga. Luckily, I was able to find many simple groups of postures and techniques that can help with thyroid imbalance.” Her results: "My symptoms have reduced by 90 percent. I no longer feel winded or exhausted from simple tasks like walking up a flight of stairs. And I no longer have extreme sensitivity to colder environments. I feel generally healthier, more energized and stronger." Here, two moves that helped Willis ease her condition, plus two she researched to help students with hyperthyroidism.
Underactive Thyroid (Hypothyroidism) Often, poses that place a little bit of pressure on the neck area are recommended for patients with thyroid troubles. The theory is that poses like this one help improve blood flow to the neck area, stimulating the thyroid gland. (However, no scientific studies have confirmed this theory yet.)
Shoulderstand Note: You’ll need two thick blankets.
Fold two thick blankets into a square. Place the blankets at the back end of your mat. Lie down with your shoulders on the blankets, but head off them. Bring your arms down alongside your body, keeping them close to your body. Keeping your legs together, swing your legs and hips up so your hips are stacked above your shoulders. Place your palms squarely on your lower back with fingers pointing up towards your heels. Tuck in your chin and nestle it right in the notch between your collarbones. Tuck your elbows in closely. Make sure elbows are square to the sides of your body, not angling out. Hold this position for a minimum of 50 breaths for maximum benefits. To come out of the position, bend your knees toward your forehead, hinging from your hips, using your abdominal muscles to roll your back and hips toward the floor. Once your hips are on the floor, straighten your legs out one at a time.
Counterpose: Fish This position opens up the throat and is said to help drain all the toxins that may have gotten compressed during shoulderstand. Recline on the floor with your torso propped up on your elbows, legs out straight, hands near your hips. On an inhale, arch your chest up. Keeping your chest arched, walk your elbows down the side of your body towards your heels until the crown of your head reaches the floor. Hold this position for 10 to 15 breaths. To come out of the pose, push hard on your elbows to lift your head, bringing your chin forward. Lower the back of your skull and shoulder blades to the mat.
Overactive Thyroid (Hyperthyroidism) Check with your doctor before starting a yoga practice. According to Dr. Bell, people with an overactive thyroid need to be careful not to overdo it. They can experience rapid heart rate and irregular heart rhythms, and in extreme cases can even get into immediate trouble.
For hyperthyroidism, Willis recommends mellow, restorative poses. Hold poses a long time for maximum benefits.
Goddess Pose (Supported Reclining Bound Angle)
Note: You’ll need a bolster and a belt. Begin sitting on the floor. Lay the bolster directly behind you, in the same direction as your spine. Place the soles of your feet together, then wrap a strap or belt around your feet, securing the soles of the feet together. Place your legs in front of you with knees open to the sides to create a diamond shape. Lie back making sure your lower back, upper back, and head are supported on the bolster. Place your arms alongside your body with forearms and elbows against the floor, palms facing up. Aim to hold this position for seven minutes, working your way up to 30 minutes.
Legs Up the Wall (Supported)
Note: You’ll need two blankets. Roll up two blankets, stack them together and place them against the wall. Sit down with your left side (shoulder, hip, and knee) touching the wall, the blankets behind you. Lie back, rotating to the left until your hips are square to the wall, your torso perpendicular to it along the floor, and your legs straight up against the wall. Hold this position for 10 to 20 minutes. To come out of this pose, bend your knees toward your chest, turn to rest on your right side and come up to a seated position and sit here for a few minutes to let your blood pressure readjust; the upside down position can cause blood pressure to lower. While this is considered an inversion, unlike poses in which your head is lower than your heart, Legs Up the Wall actually lowers blood pressure, rather than elevating it.
I have been obsessed with this ever since I saw it a couple months ago.
October 1, 2012
Eating in season is something we rarely do these days. We can get things like tropical fruits all year round, meats and fish from Europe or Asia and all manner of great foods shipped straight to us from anywhere on the planet. Is this really great for us though? I’m with the Locavores: eating locally harvested foods in season just makes sense. Mother Nature knows how to take care of her kids.
Fall fruits and veggies display warm colors: the shiny red skin of apples, the browns of mushrooms and the deep oranges and yellows of foods like sweet potatoes and squash. Such foods are ripe for harvesting in autumn for a reason. They have grown slowly and steadily in deeper soil during the summer months and their meat is dense and sticks to the ribs, warming and nourishing the body in preparation for winter’s onslaught.
In keeping with this theme of warmth and warming, we should start to consume more cooked foods at this time of year. Hearty soups, plump whole grains and braised greens are more easily integrated by your digestive system in the colder weather than raw foods. Find a great soup recipe for your fall and winter roots and veggies as a first course, and then you can even have it again the next day as a lighter meal. One of my favorite fall soups is carrot leek ginger garnished with black sesame seed gomasio (Japanese condiment made of toasted sesame seeds & sea salt).
According to the philosophy of macrobiotics, starting our meal with a soup or a broth is beneficial, as this calms us down and balances the blood sugar a bit, helping to temper our appetite before we tuck into our entrée. Consuming a nice soup or broth can help us not to overeat. Staying balanced in our Yoga practice and diet is extra important this time of year. Ayurveda (India’s ancient system of healing) warns us to be cautious at the time of seasonal change as Vata (air or wind element) is elevated, and colds and viruses tend to blow in with those seasonal winds.
Consider these criteria while shopping for the elements that will become your meal. Is the food grown and produced within 100 miles of where you live? Is the food’s color vibrant and rich? Not only will varied colors make a beautiful plate, but they also signify the wealth of vitamins and minerals present in the food.
Finally consider the amount and type of fuel you’ll need to support your lifestyle, especially if you practice a rigorous style of Yoga, like Ashtanga or Kundalini. For example, you may want to consider that Ashtanga Yoga is very athletic and requires more protein to repair and build healthy muscle tissue, while Kundalini Yoga with all its cleansing breath-of-fire is Vata inducing. Foods that can help ground you are root vegetables, gourds, squash and heavier fats like nuts, oils, meats and dairy.
It’s all about balance. Have fun in the kitchen and on the mat!
This week’s recipe: Lavender Ginger Baked Apples
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Prepare an oven safe baking dish with 2 inches of water
- Core apples, making sure all seeds are removed but leaving bottoms intact
- Thinly julienne a 1 inch piece of giner and put a few long strands inside each apple
- Add small pat of butter to each apple
- Sprinkle each apple with cinnamon and lavendar
Bake covered for 30 - 40 minutes (depending upon size and density of apple)