Thursday, January 28, 2016

The 3 qualities of life, in which foods they are found and how they effect our mental state.

After the festive season or any time when eating can be a focus, sometimes it is hard to get back to where we were and curb all those indulgences and sweet tastes.  Often we are left feeling bloated and a little low both energetically and emotionally, and that is the interesting point, watch how you feel mentally and see the effect that food plays on the mind, see how the body feels, can you relate your moods to what you have eaten? Can you relate your moods to being out of routine?  To understand what play the things we are ingesting have on us we have to know the 3 Gunas – this is the 3 qualities of life, all things are made of these 3 qualities and all 3 are needed for existence.
Sattwa – purity
Rajas – movement
Tamas – inertia
All the things you put into your body are made of these 3 qualities, so here is a guide to what foods have what qualities and how that effects us mentally.

Food stuffs
Qualities they evoke
Fresh, natural, organic, vegetables, fruits, cereals, grains, nuts, seeds, reasonably cooked, mildly spiced
Cleanliness, calmness, peacefulness, contentment, harmony, wisdom, good morals, spirituality
Fried, colored, with preservatives, processed, artificial, steaming hot, frozen, sugar, MSG, saline, anything that comes in a tin or can or packet! Onions, garlic, Spicy
Talkative, fast paced mind, competitive mind, self boasting, big ego, gossiping, fidgety
Fermented, overcooked, tasteless, meat, alcohol, caffeine, decaying, impure
Sadness, depression, fear, ignorance, lethargy and laziness

If you really are taking note of what you are putting in, you will really see the effects on your whole self.  It is really interesting to watch.  So the choice is yours!  If you are going to make changes then do it slowly and gradually, often it is the case if we make a dramatic change that it doesn’t become sustainable and often causes more damage to our levels of happiness, so do it slowly.  And remember all 3 qualities are needed for balance and harmony but know which one should be the dominant one and which ones should be ingested in real moderation, I know what I choose!! 
Recipe to combat bloating –
4 cloves
1 tsp. fennel seeds
4 cardamom pods
¼ tsp. dry ginger

Grind the ingredients together and keep in a glass jar, you can add to boiling water to make a herbal tea, sprinkle on morning fruits or chew on after meals.  Going for a walk after eating also reduces bloating and aids digestion.
Enjoy seeing how everything is related. 
For now have beautiful days
Om shanti Om
Mangala / Nicky.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

12 Months, 12 Affirmations, 12 Reasons to Practice

See the Sun, he is a friend of the whole world.  He shines on all and brings life to all.  May the sun shine brightly in our hearts and keep us warm in 2016.

2015 brought many beautiful moments and many challenges, my husband and I decided to move on from Nepal the country where we had been living for four years and search for a new horizon, finding a new job for my husband was very challenging.  We lived through two major earthquakes that shook us to the bones and over 300 aftershocks, we started to rebuild structurally and emotionally.  We left the continent of Asia - my home for so many years and a place I feel great connection with.  We arrived to a new home in Africa, I fractured my wrist in two places and we have gone through a flooded house twice.  Through all this I have stayed calm and strong and was able to keep sharing this beautiful thing called yoga with whom I could and who surrounded me.  I have been truly blessed with those that have put themselves on the mat with me, whom have chanted with me, felt emotion with me, and worked through it with me.  It is Yoga that has kept me going and pulled me through, because when we start to see our potential, when we join the path and journey back to our true selves there is nothing to grieve or fear.  Everything becomes an opportunity and I am grateful for every breath.  Without my practice where would I be?  Now I am suffering a little feeling unsettled and slightly lost in a new place where I am not quite sure of my place, the challenges in front of me seem great, but I know home is in Yoga.  I have great faith in that beautiful sun shinning upon us that he will illuminate everything that is in its place and where it should be.  I trust the strength, courage and love of the universe that I connect with in Yoga.  I am not a fan of new years resolutions, every day we should encourage ourselves and make positive choices.  Every day is a new beginning.  So I guess here are 12 positive choices for each month of the year and each new position of the sun in a year.
JANUARY – My body is rested, my mind is calm, my heart is at peace, my spirit sours.   Yoga brings me Gratefulness.
FEBUARY – I can accomplish anything I put my mind to.  Yoga brings me courage.
MARCH – I am balanced and focused.  Yoga brings me concentration.
APRIL – I am That That I am.  Yoga brings me harmony.
MAY – I open my heart to give and receive love. Yoga brings me compassion.
JUNE – I am strong and grounded as I move forward in life.  Yoga brings me strength.
JULY – My awareness soars to boundless heights.  Yoga brings me joy.
AUGUST – I release all obstacles to a full and free expression.  Yoga brings me energy.
SEPTEMBER – I enjoy freedom of movement and I accommodate to my surroundings.  Yoga brings me balance.
OCTOBER – I bow to the divine wisdom of the Universe.  Yoga brings me Faith.
NOVEMBER – I view my life from a new perspective and realize its potential.  Yoga brings me light and illumination.
DECEMBER – I let go into the eternal moment of Now.  Yoga brings me peace.
Letting the air become our breath and the light become our sight all year through.  May the long time Sun shine upon you and all love surround you -
Wishing everyone a very beautiful 2016.
Mangala / Nicky.