Friday, July 17, 2020

Nurture yourself with meditation as you nurture yourself with your food.

Meditation is the Royal road to freedom, a short practice each day will really nurture you and help to bring balance, clarity and peace back after maybe a busy or stressful day or just dealing with the trials and tribulations of life.   The benefits of meditation are unlimited and are so profound, however you have to practice - 10 minutes each day is not too much to ask for is it?  You have to take care of the mind as well as everything else, it is like a work out for the mental activity, think how your body feels after a fabulous asana session - now take your mind to that same place with this simple and accessible meditation for everyone.  Enjoy your practice and the journey on which it will take you.
Click on the link below.
Om shanti shanti shanti 
Mangala / Nicky

Saturday, June 6, 2020

Herbal tea to Boost your Immunity.

Om Namah Sivaya - Hello Everybody!
It seems like a long time since my last blog posting but here we are now and with a really great and important herbal tea recipe to keep the immune system strong and give you a boost.  I was really honored to be able to attend an ayruvedic lecture this morning with the lovely Dr Shanti Kamlesh and here is his recommendation for this tasty as well as beneficial tea that is easy to make with easily sourced ingredients no matter where you are.  This is not in any way a cure for Covid 19 but it is a strong way to keep healthy and maintain your health alongside your yoga practice of asana (yogic postures and exercise,) meditations and breathing techniques and appropriate diet and lifestyle including enough rest.  So share the recipe with your loved ones and enjoy a lovely cup of tea! I will allow you a biscuit seeing as you have all been so good!!  And it is interesting to see that in countries that use these herbs daily in their cooking such as in India, the actual infection rate especially compared to the population is low, hmmmm the power of herbs from the earth. 
10 grams fresh Basil leaves
10 grams ginger powder
5 grams black pepper
5 grams cinnamon 
5 grams cloves
Boil in half a litre of water for 10-15 minutes then filter, you can add some jaggery or pure honey for taste and enjoy!  
Take morning, lunch time and evening.
Wishing you all peace, time to reflect, time to be with your wonderful self and find that the whole universe is within you. 
Take care of yourself and love yourself please
AUM shanti shanti shanti 
Mangala / Nicky

Dr Shanti Kumar Kamlesh

Monday, April 13, 2020

Yoga Mangala goes facebook live - with mixed feelings!

Traditionally we learn yoga and the yogic way of life - Dharma by living, working and studying with the teacher: this is called the Gurukula system.  Guru meaning teacher and Kula is home.  In ancient times students would usually remain at the ashram for 12 years, taught philosophy, the main paths of yoga  as well as the practical elements of pranayama, asana, meditation and karma yoga.  Today Yoga and yoga classes seem to be available in every shape and form and have been stretched further and further to suit fashions, glamour and fads.  Yoga Mangala holds high importance of keeping the teachings as a living tradition and always taught from personal experience.  In today's current climate where we are staying home due to covid -19 outbreak I have been asked to go online.  This is something I have never approached before or had any inclination to - in fact I have to say it is something that actually I have not agreed with at all.  It has always been of upmost importance to me that when you come to my sessions that you feel that you are being looked after, cared for, given what is needed and energy transferred through me to you.  How is that possible through a screen where I can't even see you and know if you need a little help? However considering our current situation and of a way of offering support I agreed to make facebook live sessions, to keep people in practice, elevate spirits and give a set of tools to help address the difficulties that we may be going through.  In fact now after making 16 of these sessions, I am almost feeling that somehow and even though the sessions are short mini practices that some sort of Gurukulu system is taking place.  I am not sure at this stage where this is going to go and what it means for me as a teacher, but one very wonderful thing is that I have been able to re-connect with many practitioners that I have taught from all over the world, that normally wouldn't be attending my sessions here in Casablanca where I am based for now.  I am still in the very mixed feeling stages of this process and there is certainly not an enjoyment of instructing an image of myself in a little box, however I have received some wonderful messages from people that are finding these sessions helpful or are even helping them to get back into practice.  So lets see what happens, for now you can view these 'little Mangala' practices that include asana (yogic postures) pranayama (breathing techniques) meditations and a little chanting on the YOGA mangala facebook page or on my personal page - Nicky Zammit.  Please do also feel free to connect with me there and to leave a comment under the clips to say hi and let me know how you are doing.   
For now breathe, observe how you are feeling and know that everything is going to be alright.
Sending my thoughts and wishes to everyone, to your time and finding inspiration within yourself.
AUM shanti shanti shanti
Love and in gratitude of our great Guru's 
Mangala / Nicky

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

A great opportunity for positive thinking

Our energy is very much connected to our thoughts, mental activity and emotions, at this time when we are staying home, it is a great opportunity to tune our attention inwards, to put ourselves on pause, stop ourselves in our tracks, give ourselves time to breathe, reflect, make wise changes and heal.  It is a time when less positive thoughts can arise as there is a sense of uncertainty or unease as we think of the welfare of our loved ones, our employment and future but it is important for our health both mental and physical to observe how we are feeling and start to turn around our worries to positive intentions and vibrations.  Positivity is going to boost the immunity, mental health and whole system and a wonderful way to do that is to take some moments each day to share, write down or even make a little craft project of what we have gratitude for.  Positive thinking can help make you feel stronger and more vitalized - cultivate joy, contentment, appreciation and gratitude.  Share 5 points of gratitude each day such as "I am grateful for the fresh air I can breathe."  "I am grateful for the songs of the birds."  "I am grateful for the good and healthy food I have today."  Or my husband would say "I am grateful for Crystal Palace football team!" I would say "I am grateful for this moment to be able to stop and reflect."  Why not take an empty clear bottle or jar and each day add something you are grateful for by felt marker or pens or stick on paper, then if you keep water in that bottle and drink from it those words of compassion and love will filter into the water and filter into you - a wonderful boost, honoring the water as you drink as it becomes part of you.  Keep your mind elevated and strong - this supports your immune system, what we think so we become so it is important that we are aware of our thoughts and work towards turning any negativity around.  
Make a little project and see where it takes you, plant love, water love and watch love grow.
Now is the time to make a change and for those of us that have time on our hands as we self- quarantine by turning our time into positive actions it is also a way that we can honor those working so hard for all of us - such as those in the hospitals and those keeping our food supply coming in.
Be positive, be love, be compassion because essentially that is what you are and now is a great opportunity for us all to remember.
Love to all from the heart
Mangala / Nicky.  

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Increase strength, health and confidence

Performing mudras (yogic gestures or even attitudes) are energizing and powerful means to arouse energy or shakti and to unite the individual vital life with the universal or cosmic energy or Divine consciousness.  They can be known as a way to uplift and create a certain psychic, emotional, devotional and aesthetic attitude and really enhances how we connect to a higher force of energy. Performing mudras can develop our concentration, deepen our awareness and change our perception, they can be simple hand gestures or involve the whole body - here Prana Mudra or otherwise known as Shanti Mudra is explained.  It provides a direct link between the body, mind and energy increases our strength, overall health and sense of confidence and connection with the universe.  It is a beautiful mudra when performed after your asana practice and pranayama it really invokes the subtle flow of energy throughout the system and brings an inner sense of peace and equanimity as it brings an attitude of offering and receiving energy to and from the divine source of life.
1. Sit in any comfortable meditation posture with the right hand resting on top of the left - palms facing upward. 
2. Close the eyes and become settled, bring your awareness to your easy breathing and relax the body in your stable position.  Inhale deeply and fully then exhale completely.  Contract the abdominal muscles inward to really push out all the exhalation and retain the breath here, creating udyhana bandha.  Contract the pelvic floor muscles creating moola bandha hold for as long as is comfortable without strain.
3.Release the two bandhas and begin a deep inhalation - breathing into the abdomen, at the same time release the hands the palms facing the body and bring them in front of the navel.  Feel a sense of lifting the energy upward within the body.
4. Continue the inhalation expanding the chest and raising the hands until they are in front of the sternum at the centre of the chest, keeping the sense of the energy being lifted.
5. Continue the inhalation slightly raising the clavicles and raise the hands to the front of the throat - still raising the energy.
6. Retain the breath now and spread the arms out to the sides the palms facing upward the arms are not straight.  Bring the concentration to the crown of the head and visualize and aura of light emanating from the head.  Hold the retention for as long as is possible without forcing or straining and feel the whole being radiating vibrations of peace throughout your system and to all living entities.  Radiate vibrations of peace to the whole universe.
7. Begin the exhalation slowly and with control and bring the hands and arms back down to the original position in the same way they came up - past the throat, chest and abdomen.  And feel the energy progressing down the body.
8. Apply the moola bandha - contracting into the pelvic floor muscles for as long is as comfortable.  Then release and relax the whole body and the breath.  Sit in the love and the light of your whole complete self and Divine energy.

With this mudra benefit your whole system but also the whole universe - be an ambassador for peace.
Have beautiful practice and beautiful days
AUM shanti shanti shanti 
Mangala / Nicky 

Saturday, February 29, 2020

A Reflection

"What is life?  It is the flash of a firefly at night,
it is the breath of a buffalo in winter time,
it is the shadow which runs across the grass and 
looses itself in the sunset."

In the case of our existence in this human form being a flash of a firefly then we should make each moment a precious, gentle and kind one, to ourselves, to all living entities and to Mother Earth.

"Like the grasses showing their tender faces to each other, this should we do also, for this was the wish of the grandfathers of the world."
Black Elk
Each moment a new opportunity to find oneness and peace and magic in everything, have beautiful days.  Chant Om Namo Narayanaya for peace each day for a few moments and make a difference. 
AUM Shanti shanti shanti
Mangala / Nicky

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Back Pain - what is the root cause?

Back pain can come in all shapes and sizes; between the shoulder blades, around the rib cage and in the lower back, but one thing for sure is that today it is epidemic.  In fact it is one of the most common disorders of today and is estimated that 60% or more of the population will suffer from an incident of acute or more long term back pain at some stage of their life.
In a western outlook the cause of the pain can often be elusive and hard to or wrongly diagnosed and treatment ineffective.  Often Dr's lack the confidence to treat the problem maybe due to lack of explanation from a western scientific approach. 
Yoga offers a simple and effective way to treat the issues that are causing the distress and is a doorway to the root cause which may be far away from a physical attribute.  Root causes of the issue can be hotly debated within the therapeutic communities however in my experience of dealing with students with back pain the most common and root cause is stress and pollution of the astral nerves (nadis) through unwise lifestyle choices.  The astral nerves are so sensitive and are often bombarded with pollutants through modern living - fast pace, overwork, technology, sounds, what we read, listen to, watch and talk about and of course everything we ingest into the system creates toxins.  When there are toxins there are blockages to the flow of the vital life force (prana) within the energy channels and the subtle body.  When we experience pain there is not enough prana reaching this particular area of the system or in some cases too much prana - the flow of the energy is not as it should be.  Our astral nerves are so subtle and sensitive that blockages happen very easily and emotions can play a vital role in polluting the system.
Often the body is telling you that there is a build up of stress even if the mind doesn't want to accept it and maybe an emotional reaction to a situation is the real contributor to the pain.  
Keeping a simple daily yogic program which incorporates relaxation techniques, meditation and appropriate asana to strengthen areas of weakness in the body (maybe due to lack of use) and also release tension that is held within the muscles, tendons and ligaments etc is a natural and wholesome way to approach and combat the problem with longterm effect.  A simple diet of vegetables that are lightly cooked, whole grains, pulses, fruits and juices should be taken - when the digestive system is working well also there are less toxins and back pain can be eliminated.  Avoid excessive sugar, white flours, milk and dairy, meats, fish, oil and spices.  And of course avoid all those other damaging stimulants such as alcohol, caffeine etc.  Get out in nature and take in the fresh air - feel a breeze and become aware of every leaf, flower the moisture in the air and every insect and bird.  Reduce use of technology as much as you can and be more mindful about what you read and listen too creating a more harmonious atmosphere rather than nightmares!  Be mindful about negative conversations, all these things greatly contribute to the health of the body mind system.  And create a dedication to your daily practice and total faith in a dedicated and experienced teacher that can guide and relax you.  Everyone can practice daily even 10-15 minutes is going to have a great impact if practiced with the right attitude so maybe it is just a little more organisation or re-organisation of your time that you need.  
It is maybe more difficult to accept that the pain is coming from these elements such as stress, emotions and lifestyle,  than somebody giving you an answer that is just physical such as a torn muscle or ligament or slipped disk etc, but maybe  acceptance that the issues that I have mentioned here are a root cause is the biggest step you can take - the rest will take care of itself with mindful, dedicated and respectful practice.  Once you have accepted then you can begin to move forward on the path to wonderful happy health.  
Comprehensive yoga therapy techniques which incorporate deep relaxation, movements with breath awareness, breathing techniques, meditation and the right asana (yogic postures) for you is paramount to a joyful body mind system.  
I wish for every being to find that harmony back with the natural world and the natural self - and the natural self is that of a relaxed and contented one.  
Have beautiful days living gently with the earth
AUM shanti shanti shanti 
Mangala / Nicky