Wednesday, September 25, 2013

15 minutes of practice for busy people!

For many a daily practice of an hour and a half or even longer sounds like a daunting prospect, and I hear thoughts of how am I ever meant to fit that in every day!  If you are one of those busy people but still want to maintain your balance and harmony then here is a short 15-minute practice that may make that a little bit more manageable. 
  1. Always start with a little relaxation in savasana, it is very easy to leave out the relaxation when there are time constraints, but this is the most important part of the practice, to tune into the nature that makes your very being, let go of other thoughts and give your body the essential time it needs to rejuvenate. 
  2. Chant Om even if it is only once, this will help you to focus your mind and uplift you.
  3. Suryia Namaskar- sun salutations 4-6 rounds depending on the speed you like to practice, however remember slowing yourself down may be more beneficial to your body and give yourself time to breathe within the postures and receive the benefits from each one.  Suryia Namaskar is a great boon for the whole body and mind, helps to improve flexibility and circulation, improves concentration levels and takes care of the spine your whole communication system for the body.
  4. Single leg raises, helps to relieve lower back pain, stretches the hamstrings and keeps the veins in the legs healthy.
  5. Sarvangasana – shoulder stand, this is a most important posture bringing a rich supply of blood to the thyroid gland keeping it healthy and regulating your metabolic system.  Brings the thyroid gland to a normal level of activity.  Slows down your heart rate and regulates any high or low blood pressure, feeds the spine abundantly with all the nutrients it needs, helps to relieve any problems with the veins in the legs and helps to maintain a youthful figure.  Also it calms the mind and helps to release any stresses or mental sluggishness.
  6. Matsyasana – fish pose, helps to remove any stiffness in the back and brings greater flexibility to the spine.  A natural massage is given to the shoulders and neck.  The chest is expanded and deep breathing encouraged bringing a greater potential of energy back to the system.  The pituitary gland located in the brain is massaged and in turn then takes care of all other glands, regulating your emotions.
  7. Paschimothanasana – seated forward bend, gives a complete stretch through the whole body and invigorates the internal organs.  Tones all the digestive organs and increases digestive fire, invigorates the entire nervous system and regulates energy flow.
  8. Ardha Matsyendrasana - half spinal twist, helping to keep the spine healthy and elastic.  All the ligaments around the spine receive many nutrients and the toxins held in the liver, kidneys and bowels are released.  This posture brings a real calmness to the mind.
  9. Savasana – your final relaxation.  Whatever your time restraints do not leave out your relaxation, it is imperative for the health of your whole body and mind system and after your asana’s you deserve it!  Give yourself some time to be still and enjoy your breath, listen to your inner sounds and find peace.
Enjoy your practice everyone; remember looking after your family, your job and the world around you starts with looking after yourself.  You start to shine and the rest of the world shines around you.
Om Om shanti Om
Nicky / Mangala

Thursday, September 19, 2013

How we Eat!

Food is our daily medicine, the quality and quantity of food we take each day largely affects how we think and feel, the whole body and mind system is governed by what we are putting into our bodies.  In fact it is the very food that we eat that makes our physical body, the seven Dhatu’s or body tissues are formed from what you have for breakfast, lunch and dinner and anything in between!  And they are constantly renewing, in fact it is written that our whole physical being renews itself every seven years, so maybe now is the time to start thinking more of what is making your plasma, lymph, blood cells, muscles and bones, nerves and everything else. 
It is imperative that we look after ourselves, all progress, and all awareness starts at home, if we look after ourselves then we can take care of others.  If we take care of others the Universe starts to feel better.  If we start to shine the Universe starts to shine.
Recently I have been made more aware of the Ayurvedic diet and ways of eating, which has been a bit of a revolution to me.  How we can balance ourselves through what we eat and heal ourselves.  All diseases no matter how big or small if they are physical or mental begin through our bodies and minds being out of balance, and through how and what we eat is a way of re-balancing.  Here are some points of the Ayurvedic ways of eating that might help you to be more mindful as to how you take care of that body car of yours

  1. All food should be freshly cooked, fresh produce and where possible organic.  Tinned, canned, frozen and foods in packets are dead foods, full of toxins that are only going to impair how your body and minds are working
  2. You should sit down and eat your meal with a calm and settled mind.  Avoid watching TV, being on the phone/ computer or walking down the road.  Sit peacefully with good posture and enjoy the food.
  3. Try not to eat too quickly or slowly this will lead to indigestion.
  4. The quantity of food taken is important, try not to overeat, the stomach should be ¾ water, ¾ food and ¾ space so as good digestion can take place.
  5. There should be a gap of 3-6 hours depending on your metabolism between eating.
  6. Try not to drink whilst eating as it impairs the digestion, have some water before your meal then wait at least half an hour after eating before again drinking.  Tea and coffee after a meal are disastrous for the digestion!
  7. A good Ayurvedic meal should contain a little of the 6 Rasa’s or tastes- sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter and astringent.
  8. Lunch should be the main meal of the day as it is when the digestive fire is highest, in the evening time the digestive fire is low and slow, so having a big meal can leave you lethargic the next day.
  9. Ice cold drinks and foods should be avoided as they impair the digestion greatly and reduce energy levels.
  10. After food sit quietly for a few minutes and then have a little walk to aid digestion, sitting in a chair will slow down the process and induce more toxins into the system.
  11. Don’t eat before going to bed, if you are hungry try drinking a little milk, or eat a small portion of fruit.
  12. Food should be tasty and be good to the eye; digestion actually starts here as we look at the food.
  13. Enjoy your food, it should be wholesome and satisfying and give good energy.

So enjoy your daily medicine and think about what it is you are doing to yourself, a happy body means a happy mind, a happy mind means a happy body, so eat well and look after yourself because you have a beautiful shinning heart and you deserve it.

Om Om shanti Om
Mangala/ Nicky

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Ayurveda and Yoga Weekend Retreat with Nicky

September 21 @ 7:00 am - September 22 @ 7:00 pm

 | 11500 rupees
Yoga and Ayurveda – learning to live in balance and harmony
Nicky: “We are the very nature of this universe, we contain the same elements as every bird, grain of sand, every river and mighty mountain.  We are space, we are air, we are fire, water and earth.  Through the ancient traditions of Yoga and Ayurveda we can bring our minds, bodies and souls back into harmony and awaken the memory of who we really are.”
During the weekend we will look at:
  • Discovery of your constitution. Each of us is made up of the 5 basic elements making the 3 dosha’s – Vata (space and air), Pita (fire and water) and Kapha (water and earth) discover your own constitution to what level of Vata, Pita, Kapha you are and how you personally connect with the universe.
  • General yoga for all 3 doshas and specific yoga practice for each dosha, what is most beneficial for Vata, Pita and Kapha.
  • Meditation techniques for each dosha.
  • Discussion on diet and how to keep the dosha’s balanced through dietry and daily routines.
  • Demonstration on how to use Ayurvedic hot water treatment for achy joints!
Nicky has just completed the Basics in Ayurveda with Dr Nuwan Gamage, Ayurvedic Physician in Tangalla, Sri Lanka and is ready with new inspiration and knowledge to share.
Cost for the weekend is 11500 per person and includes accommodation on twin sharing basis, all meals (vegetarian), transportation from and to Kathmandu, yoga instruction and Ayurveda lectures, use of yoga mats.
This weekend will be held at the beautiful Namo Buddha resort, for more details and to sign up please look at Pranamaya's website here:
Om Om Shanti OM
Nicky / Mangala

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Meditation on AUM

In one of my very first blog posts or maybe even the very first one we looked at the meaning of Om or classically written Aum.  Today we had such a lovely meditation on AUM that I thought I would share it with you, so for those of you who missed it you can practice at home.
Om is the very breath of existence, it is the beginning of all beginnings, the creation of nature and soul.  The five elements cannot exist without OM and it is the five elements that make this universe and make your good selves.  AUM is everything, it represents all that is unreal and that which is ultimate truth; absolute existence, knowledge and bliss.  It is the waking state, the dream state and the deep sleep state and all that goes beyond, it covers the threefold experiences of man.  From OM this sense world has been projected, the world exists in OM and dissolves in OM. It is the basis of your life, thought and intelligence. 
Keeping that in mind and let us begin our meditation, chanting OM will drive away all worldly thoughts and prevent Vikshepa- the tossing of the mind.
Sit comfortably in a crossed legged pose with the spine straight.
Relax all the muscles in the body and feel the shoulders relax downward.
Close your eyes and put all your duties to one side.
Concentrate on your gentle breath without changing anything just be witness to the breath, feeling the flow of air in and out of the body.
When you feel ready begin to chant AUM with your exhalations.  On the inhalations be still.
Allow the vibration of OM to journey through your body and mind, healing and soothing.
Chant for as long as you feel comfortable, take rests if you need to and you may want to chant silently after some time.
Whilst you are chanting consider all that OM represents and its meanings.
Finish by sitting silently again and bring your awareness back to the breath.
Slowly bring your hands together in front of your heart centre and rub the palms to create a heat, cup the hands over the eyes and when you are ready gently open the eyes, then release your hands down.
Chant Shanti 3 times, once for yourself, once for all living entities and once for Mother Earth.
Hari OM Tat Sat
Have beautiful days
Mangala / nicky