It may sound like hyperbole, but this morning juice recipe really did change my life. What we do first thing in the morning to feed our bodies can change the course of each day. If you start the day right, you will have more energy, improved motivation, a better sense of intention, and less sadness and anxiety. If you focus on proper nutrition in the long term, it’s a huge step in the right direction for your overall health and risk of disease.
I make this juice every morning, and it has helped me through work stress, family drama, and various health challenges. It has propelled my energy to allow me to move my body each day, provided me vitamins and compounds to allow my body to heal, and balanced my neurotransmitters to keep me happy, focused, and sharp.
Drink this juice first thing in the morning after your body has fasted overnight (leaving a 12-hour window between dinner and breakfast the next day). At this point, the cells are hungry and receptive to nutrition. I juice all the ingredients because then my cells can simply absorb all the nutritional goodness without having to do much work in the form of digestion, metabolism, and utilization. Here are the six magical ingredients:
I always start with a whole lemon, juiced without the skin. Citrus fruits are high in vitamins, and a healthy dose of vitamin C can fight infection, reduce kidney stones, relieve indigestion, decrease headache pain, and help detoxify the body.
Cucumbers have important minerals, vitamins, and electrolytes to help maintain water balance in the body. They also contain erepsin, an important digestive enzyme to break down protein. Its plant sterols lower LDL, and its phytoestrogens helps to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and certain cancers.
3. Fresh turmeric root.
Turmeric is a powerhouse anti-inflammatory and relieves arthritic pain, prevents atherosclerosis, and fights free radical damage to the brain. It can relieve symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease, reduces risks of stomach ulcers, and improves mood and feelings of depression.
4. Fresh ginger root.
Ginger is a wonder food that fights inflammation, eases nausea related to anything from indigestion to chemotherapy, and is great for healing and protecting the gut. It is also wonderful for reducing sinus and head discomfort from colds and flu.
Brain-Boosting Morning Tonic
One whole lemon with peel cut off
One whole cucumber with peel
One 2-inch root of ginger (if you’re not a fan of ginger, cut this amount in half)
Two 3- to 4-inch roots of turmeric
One whole pear
One yellow or red beet
extract of ashwagandha
extract of astragalus
extract of goldenseal
extract of elderberry
Place all ingredients in a juicer, and add extracts of ashwaghandha and astragalus (for further adaptogenic support) or goldenseal and elderberry during flu season.
It’s a challenge for anyone to stay in the present moment. With our incessant social media scrolling, 24/7 news stream, and constant planning for the future, the distractions are omnipresent these days. For those suffering from eating disorders, a comparison mindset is one of those crippling distractions that keeps us from living in the here and now. When we’re constantly in comparison, we’re constantly judging ourselves, our past selves, and even our future selves. This is why for individuals suffering from an eating disorder, cultivating mindfulness can become the lifeline needed to ease self-destruction.
For those with anorexia, bulimia, or binge eating disorder, thoughts around body image, caloric intake, and weight become incessant. These negative thought patterns hinder our capacity to live joyful, meaningful lives in the present moment. Life can only unfold in the present moment experience, so when our minds are mired in wishing our weight or body were different, we’re perpetually dissatisfied with life. This dissatisfaction is where misery thrives.
What’s one way to break this cycle? Mindfulness. Eastern Washington University suggests that using mindfulness as a treatment approach is effective, since eating disorders are associated with perfectionism, control, and harsh self-criticism. In essence, if we can change our relationship with our thoughts, we can begin to heal our relationship with ourselves—this includes our body. Here are three ways mindfulness is a power tool against eating disorders:
1. Mindfulness helps you identify triggers in the moment.
When we’re present with ourselves and our environments, we begin to learn the relationship we have with environmental triggers. For example, asking the question, “What is fuelling this self-destructiveness?” is a tremendously helpful piece of self-inquiry for those suffering from eating disorders. Environmental triggers could include seeing skinny model images in the media, a challenging interpersonal relationship, or being exposed to particular foods. Internal triggers could be default modes of negative thinking or old belief systems.
The more we can get to know inner and outer triggers, the more opportunity we have to heal and change our relationship with life. Awareness is the first step of transformation. Mindfulness techniques that help us to shine the light of awareness on our triggers include daily meditation, journaling, and remembering to pause in moments of emotional imbalance. This pausing creates space for healthier actions to take place—such as mindful breathing or actively changing thought patterns.
2. Observing your thoughts will help you befriend your inner critic.
Our inner critic constantly tells us we’re not good enough and we’ll never be good enough until we, for example, obtain a particular weight or body image. Inner critics fuel addiction to perfectionism and attachment to maladaptive behaviors such as bingeing and purging. It’s easy to disown that aggressive inner critic, but practicing self-compassion is the strongest antidote.
What is self-compassion anyhow? It’s the feeling that arises when you acknowledge your own suffering with a kind, nonjudgmental heart. Kristen Neff, a self-compassion researcher, talks about self-compassion as a way to shift from self-judgment to self-kindness. Self-compassion involves approaching our perceived failures, hardships, and moments of suffering with gentleness. Self-compassion can teach us the beauty of our imperfections, as we begin to own our innate wholeness as individuals. For those suffering from eating disorders, practicing this kindness and compassion turned inward is an essential component of healing and recovery.
3. Meditation is a proven mood booster.
Neuroscience now shows what ancient yogis and meditators have known for centuries—that healing happens through the body utilizing stillness and silence. Dr. Anne Fabiny, former editor in chief of Harvard Women’s Health, explains that meditation can be as effective as antidepressants. The negative thought patterns associated with eating disorders can wreak havoc on our mood states, resulting in depressive symptoms. Meditation cultivates a mind that can find itself, even if it loses its way. For example, when a thought of self-hatred arises, we can observe the thought without attachment or reactivity—and then allow it to organically float out of our consciousness. This power of presence is strengthened through formal sitting meditation. Just 10 minutes a day can birth tremendous benefits, bringing awareness to thought patterns and giving us the perspective to see that thoughts are real experiences not necessarily based on truth.
Mindfulness offers us a portal through which we can ignite our inner power for healing and synergy between our minds and bodies. Remember: Moment-to-moment, we can change our relationship with the mind, body, and heart, stepping into a life full of joy. Your transformation starts NOW.
By @Chervelle.Camille, Semperviva 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training student.
It was the beginning of week 2 in yoga teacher training, and emoted inwardly was “I can’t believe I am doing this!” Even though ‘this’ was exactly what spearheaded the decision of pursuing yoga to a degree that runs further than only a weekly practice.
This winter catalogs the one-year anniversary of my own metamorphic transformation. The foundation began with being more cognisant of the nutrients I digested thus altering my eating habits; while and actively participating in daily trainings and workouts formed my new frame and structure, like the walls of a precious stone. I was breathing and alive again, in many ways: body, mind, and soul. With a confidence that once felt like a distant memory.
Each day, my fitness community encouraged me to believe more of myself. Every endorphin ounce of sweat increased a confidence that lead into “I can” mode. A posture that channeled the trajectory of my career.
Never did I ever think yoga was the path for me. Yes, it was a practice intertwined with daily workouts. But, never was it more than that.
Now it is the purpose to my actions. Now I get to take this work that is internal and learn how to ‘teach’ it to others.
A year ago, I said yes to healing this body of mine by concentrating on the breath. Physical activity has taught me a lot about breathing. Yoga, has done so even more. With the deepening of my practice, I love that I get to learn something new about life and most importantly of myself.
It is not lost on me of how fortunate I am to be able to study the art of being a yoga teacher. I came into this program without any expectations, but with an open mind and the will to learn.
Following back to the top of week 2 in training, there was a thought began to lay carefully in my mind, “Why did you choose to return? What was your reasoning? Was it for self-actualisation, clarity, or awareness?” So, before signing in my fellow peers (all 47 of us!) in to training, and before heading in to practice Vinyasa with Sarah, I sat with my journal and wrote out what my mind chewed on.
I choose to return to this class today to deepen my practice of yoga –the physical and the mindful awareness. I desire to move poetically, and to contemplate, and to let my body answer the questions that my mind seeks. My yoga practice is leading me into a deeper sense of my self and of my spirit. By returning, I am choosing to practice on purpose, creating a sadhana ritural. A spiritual endeavor leading me to my divine nature…to my life’s purpose.
I choose to return to week 2 of yoga teacher training to nurture this ever growing self and to further educate this ever developing mind. Coming to me in a knowing sense, and flowing through me in various forms of creativity, service, and ability. There is a wealth of knowledge and potential waiting to be shared. This is a challenge faced with many questions like “why do I want to teach? How do I keep this teaching sustainable? Is it worth it? How will I know what to do…with my students…with myself…with teaching a class? How do I stay inspired?” Truth is, I don’t know the answers to these questions, nor can the faculty answer them for me, but they surely can help guide me there. By returning, I am choosing to go deep into the heart of teaching and to that place of ‘knowing’. By returning, I am choosing to commit myself to a life changing experience.
Naturally, I took this contemplation beyond myself. While conversing with my fellow peers, I subtly asked them “why did they return?” The collective consensus was that they love the notion that yoga is accessible. I could not agree more
The faculty here at Semperviva embodies a wealth of knowledge and experience. Not only are they educating us on the parameters and the fundamentals of yoga, they teach us the realities and disciplines that it conveys.
We are now entering our third week of training. I don’t know what to expect, but what I know for sure is that my knowledge and awareness will deepen.
So I ask you, why did you return today? To your mat, to your life, to this space? What was your reason?
How Yoga Helped Me Overcome My Chronic Thyroid Disorder
My journey with thyroid disease began when I was 16 years old. I had red bumps on my arms and legs and battled with a sluggishness that never went away—a feeling that only worsened when I came down with mono. During my senior year of high school, I was constantly exhausted and had to miss out on things a healthy teenager would attend without a second thought, like homecoming. Doctors diagnosed me with hypothyroidism and said a dose of Synthroid each morning would relieve all my symptoms. I was put on the birth control pill at the ripe age of 18 to balance my hormones, help me lose weight, and clear my skin.
Fast-forward to college, when I was constantly dealing with sinus infections and sore throats. The health center had a prescription Z-pack for me waiting whenever I visited—a quick fix for the congestion, puffiness, brain fog, and body aches. Wherever I went, I had a steady supply of meds like Lactase, Ex-lax, and Pepto, to ease the bloating, constipation, and post-meal nausea I experienced daily.
I graduated with honors in biomedical engineering and landed a swanky desk job at a prestigious investment bank in New York City. I often experienced vertigo when staring at my computer and starting getting daily migraines, for which I took Excedrin. I’d also pop a Zyrtec with my Synthroid before my cereal and milk each morning to clear my stuffy, runny nose. Even with all of that, I still felt awful. I went to some of the best endocrinologists in New York and was told over and over that the symptoms I was feeling were “normal” for those with hypothyroidism.
Finally, I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s hypothyroiditis, the autoimmune form of hypothyroidism. My own immune system was destroying my thyroid cells. This “attack and destroy” can cause wild symptom swings from hypothyroid to hyperthyroid and back. If this continued, it would lead to a lifelong dependence on thyroid hormone medication.
I’d had enough. I thought to myself, I studied biomedical engineering. Why can’t I figure this out? Turns out, I could…but in an unexpected place.
DISCOVERING THE HEALING POWER OF YOGA
On a particularly stressful day at the office, I slipped out on my lunch break to a yoga studio I passed every day. For some reason on this day, I felt called to check it out. I was used to taking intense (and very draining) Spinning and bootcamp classes to numb my pain and lose weight, so I thought this would be a nice break. Little did I know it’d be so much more.
As I moved my body mindfully while moving through asana (postures), the mental cloudiness I’d always felt magically lifted. I became introspective. I’d stand in tree pose and think, why am I always nauseous and dizzy after eating? In twists, why do I experience sharp stomach pains after certain meals and have to unbutton my pants at my desk? I’d move into downward dog and think, why are my migraines worse on certain days? Why do I feel puffy and foggy on some days, while other days light and graceful in yoga class?
Each time I returned to my yoga mat, I not only felt a new sense of clarity and balance but also felt safe, comforted, and loved — feelings I had been lacking in my life—and I realized that this practice allowed me to connect with myself in a way that I hadn’t been able to elsewhere.
The journey to self-healing starts with a single step—which often is outside our comfort zone—and a commitment to feeling radiant and healthy.
One of my teachers at the studio, Donnalynn Civello, was especially inspirational. I joined Donnalynn’s cooking and nutritional classes, as well, and began seeing patterns between my symptoms and food choices: I would often get headaches after eating prepared, microwaveable meals or bagels and pizza. Paralyzing stomach pains flared up if I ate anything with dairy, gluten, or soy.
At home, I began experimenting with blending soups and smoothies. I started spiraling vegetables and creating creamy sauces with nuts and seeds. I knew I was on a path to healing because I felt entirely different: I felt alive and free in my body and mind.
I’ve continued to study yoga and clean up my microbiome, now understanding how important both are for sustained well-being. I’ve learned how to manage my symptoms—not only through yoga but through meditation, breathwork, and holistic lifestyle rituals including energy work, essential oils, and herbal tonics.
HEALING MYSELF, THEN HEALING OTHERS
In the last few years, I have recently discovered the power of Kundalini yoga practice and have since incorporated a daily Kundalini sadhana—or daily morning practice—into my life. It has become a life-changing component of my signature Thyroid.Yoga™ program. I’ve witnessed hundreds of clients notice a new, powerful ability to magnetize opportunities into their lives and heal their bodies on a mitochondrial level.
We are all in some way asleep and need to awaken to our true selves. Often, we are called to awaken suddenly. An awakening call can come as a form of disease/dis-ease, accident, or heartbreak. Such a call often comes as pain. However, the touch that brings awakening, the touch from our soul speaking to us, is one that often brings us to a deep spiritual practice.
The journey to self-healing is not easy. In order to truly heal, we must engage in deep introspection on the emotional and energetics behind why our immune systems were weakened in the first place or why we held on to the stagnation in our glandular systems. This is the true yoga—so much more than doing bendy photos on your yoga mat!
When I think about it, I still can’t believe my healing started because I took a chance on a yoga class nearly seven years ago.
I never would have guessed that this yoga class would have inspired me to become my own inner healer and later to become a teacher to empower others to find this intuitive wisdom as well. The truth is, we have to start with a first step—which often is outside our comfort zone—and a commitment to feel radiant and healthy by integrating these practices into our lives every day with devotion to show up for ourselves.
The point you are at in life is exactly where we all start our yoga journey. A little hesitant and feeling unsure because you are unaware of what you are seeking and how yoga was going to help. Just be aware that you are setting yourself on a wonderful journey of self-compassion and self-awareness. I know it is a scary thought to place yourself in a full room of people that seem like professional yogis but the truth is you never know how far they are on their journey. One of the most challenging aspects of yoga isn’t about opening up the body, it is the opening of the mind. Become acceptable to change and willing to learn. For a moment here, allow yourself to feel like a child who knows nothing, starting from ground zero. Let go of all the ideas and misconceptions that may be holding you back. “I’m not that flexible” or “I’m too old to do yoga” or whatever it is that isn’t allowing you to unroll the mat.
Like you, I read quite a few blogs and articles trying to find a way to connect with my inner self. To find my purpose here, to do something more meaningful with my life at the same time prioritising my health. I strongly believe that most of us go through this phase of reflection only when we are surrounded by complete chaos. Be it the busy work lives, tiring parenting cycles, consuming relationships or traumatic situations but with time you will realise that this reflection can become a conscious way of life and not something incidental. Trust me when I say, I know exactly how you are feeling because this is exactly where I started my long-term relationship with yoga.
Now, you are going to go to that class, prepare your mind and let it prepare your body. Remember that you are dedicating this time of your life to your wellbeing and your fitness goals. And no! Fitness doesn’t always mean lifting weights or completing a marathon, yoga isn’t meant for only flexible bodies or for women and you don’t need the mountains or a vacation to feel free and connected. You will know the truth in these words once you’re pursuing your practice with dedication. The time you spend on the mat breathing slowly and letting go of the hurricane of thoughts in your head will start ruling your life off the mat.
Irrespective of our physical strengths and limitations, irrespective of our fears, self-doubts, and judgments, we can always be grateful for every moment that we interact with ourselves and with everyone around us. May your journey keep you challenged, inspired, humbled, and above all, the best possible version of yourself that you can be. I’m not your yoga instructor and I won’t be the girl who shows off her perfect headstand – I’m a friend, a fellow beginner like you who wants you to step out and discover the world on the mat!
One of the most interesting things about cooking and experimenting in the kitchen is that is all starts with specific guidelines and cooking instructions evolving to instinctive creativity. From putting together the ingredients to getting the processes right, it’s all too exciting to indulge. But, how do you feel when you are making a salad – Imagining a bowl full of leafy greens – raw or cooked with some basic vinaigrette or seasoning. Bored already? This stereotypical description of a salad isn’t inspiring and we know it. Now, think of a bouquet of flowers on a bright sunny day – there is no reason why your bowl of salad can’t look like it.
Check these interesting salad recipes out and tell us what you think:
1. APPLE WALNUT SALAD WITH BALSAMIC VINAIGRETTE
This apple walnut salad is the perfect combination of sweet and savoury. Sweet crisp apples tossed with nutty walnuts and salty feta in a creamy balsamic vinaigrette. Gala apples bring the in it the mild and sweet flavour while feta adds the perfect amount of saltiness.
PREP TIME – 15 minutes
TOTAL TIME – 15 minutes
8 cups chopped red leaf lettuce (about 1 large head)
1 medium apple, cored and thinly sliced (I used gala apple)
¼ cup thinly sliced red onions
¾ cup walnut halves, toasted
⅓ cup crumbled feta cheese
⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
2 tsp. honey
salt and fresh ground black pepper
1. In a large bowl combine lettuce, apples, red onion, and walnuts. Drizzle with the vinaigrette and toss to combine. Sprinkle with feta and serve immediately.
In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients together and whisk until blended. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
1. Chop and prep all the ingredients. In a large bowl add the broccoli florets, chopped kale, red onion, shredded carrots, chopped apple, dried cherries, and sunflower kernels.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk the mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, honey, crushed red pepper, and salt, until smooth.
3. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss until thoroughly coated. Then cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
*Can be made up to 3 days ahead.
3. SOUTHWESTERN KALE POWER SALAD
From Kate’s kitchen, here is a salad made out of massaged kale, quinoa, spicy sweet potatoes and black beans served with a dollop of creamy avocado sauce, feta and pepitas for good measure. It’s a hearty, healthy, texture-rich, gluten-free, vegan salad that packs great for lunch, too!
– Quinoa and kale
1 cup quinoa
1 bunch kale, ribs removed and chopped into very small, bite-sized pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium lime, juiced
½ teaspoon salt
– Sweet potatoes
2 medium sweet potatoes (about 1 ½ pounds), sliced into small, ¼-inch cubes
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 ½ teaspoons salt
– Avocado sauce
2 avocados, sliced into long strips
2 limes, juiced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium jalapeño, deseeded, membranes removed and roughly chopped
1 handful cilantro leaves
½ teaspoon ground coriander, optional
Salt, to taste
– Everything else
1 (14-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained, or 1 ½ cups cooked black beans
⅓ cup crumbled feta, omit for vegan/dairy-free salad
¼ cup pepitas (green pumpkin seeds)
1. To cook the quinoa: First, rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh colander under running water for a minute or two. In a medium-sized pot, combine the rinsed quinoa and 2 cups water. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil, then cover the pot, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Remove the quinoa from heat and let it rest, still covered, for 5 minutes. Uncover the pot, drain off any excess water and fluff the quinoa with a fork. Set it aside to cool.
2. To cook the sweet potatoes: In a large skillet, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped sweet potatoes and toss to coat, then add the cumin, smoked paprika and salt. Stir to combine. Once the pan is sizzling, add a scant ¼ cup water, then cover the pan and reduce heat to low to avoid burning the contents. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sweet potato is tender and cooked through, about 10 minutes.
3. Uncover the pan, raise the heat back to medium and cook until the excess moisture has evaporated and the sweet potatoes are caramelizing on the edges, about 3 to 7 minutes (add another little splash of olive oil if the potatoes start sticking to the pan). Set aside to cool.
4. To prepare the kale: Transfer the kale to a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle the chopped kale with salt and use your hands to “massage” it, which improves the flavor. Just grab handfuls of kale in your hands and scrunch it up in your palms. Repeat until the kale is darker green in color and more fragrant. Whisk together 2 tablespoons olive oil, the juice of 1 lime and ½ teaspoon salt. Drizzle over the kale and toss to coat.
5. To make the avocado sauce: Simply combine the ingredients as listed in a food processor or blender. Blend well and season with salt, to taste.
6. To toast the pepitas: In a small skillet over medium-low heat, toast the pepitas, stirring frequently, until they are turning lightly golden on the edges and starting to make little popping noises, about 3 to 5 minutes.
7. Once the quinoa has cooled down a bit, pour it into the bowl of kale and toss to combine. Divide the kale and quinoa mixture into four large salad bowls. Top with sweet potatoes, black beans, a big dollop of avocado sauce, and a sprinkle of feta and pepitas.
*This salad keeps well, covered and refrigerated, for a few days. To keep the avocado sauce fresh, store it separately in a small bowl, with plastic wrap pressed against the top surface to prevent oxidation.
CHANGE IT UP:
Butternut squash or carrots would be good substitutions for the sweet potatoes.
It isn’t impossible to get your daily intake of micronutrients – vitamins that nourish our bodies and help keep us healthy from the food we eat everyday. All that is required is patience, planning and knowledge about the foods that will help you meet these daily requirements. With our busy schedules and numerous tasks we expect are bodies to delivery, it is only fair for us to feed them food that will enable them to keep at their best.
The interesting fact about Vitamins is the two types of vitamins: fat soluble vitamins like vitamins A, D, E and K which dissolve in fat and then there are water soluble vitamins like complex and C which dissolve in water. Here are some ways you can fulfil your required intake of various vitamins.
1. Vitamin A:
Essential for growth and development, Vitamin A is responsible for immune function, healthy eyes, reproduction and cellular communication.
Signs of deficiency: Skin problems, poor night vision, dry eyes, decrease in sensory abilities.
Natural source: Carrots, sweet potato, kale, spinach, broccoli and eggs.
The oil that runs and operates our bodies efficiently. Each of these vitamins holds immense benefits for the body, which can be absorbed through foods and supplements.
Signs of deficiency: Energy production, nervous system, immune system and iron absorption
Natural source: Beans, legumes, milk, cheese, fish, red meat, poultry and eggs.
3. Vitamin C:
Vitamin C (also known as ascorbic acid) is abundant in vegetables and fruits. A water-soluble vitamin and powerful antioxidant, it helps the body form and maintain connective tissue, including bones, blood vessels, and skin. Vitamin C helps to repair and regenerate tissues, protect against heart disease, aid in the absorption of iron, prevent scurvy, and decrease bad cholesterol and triglycerides.
Signs of deficiency: Fatigue, bleeding gums, muscle aches, bleeding gums, collagen formation, impacts antioxidant function and iron absorption abilities.
Natural source: Raw fruits and vegetables like guava, black currant, red pepper, kiwi, green peppers, orange, strawberries, papaya, broccoli, kale, parsley, pineapple, brussels sprouts, grapefruit, peas, cauliflower and mango.
4. Vitamin D:
Responsible for our bone health, Vitamin D encourages the absorption and metabolism of phosphorous and calcium. It is a fat-soluble vitamin in a family of compounds that includes vitamins D-1, D-2, and D-3 also called the “sunshine vitamin” because our bodies produce vitamin D naturally when it’s directly exposed to sunlight.
Signs of deficiency: Skeletal deformities and soft bones
Natural source: Cod liver oil, sardines, salmon, mackerel, tuna, raw milk, caviar, eggs and mushrooms.
5. Vitamin E:
Comprising of eight different compounds, Vitamin E helps support antioxidants in the body. It can treat a range of problems of the heart and blood including blocked arteries, high blood pressure, hardened arteries in the leg, varicose veins, diabetes and related complications, and nerve including Alzheimer’s diseases and dementia.
Crucial for blood clotting and bone metabolism, Vitamin K is an essential vitamin required for protein modification. Recent studies suggest that vitamin K may play a role in treating osteoporosis and Alzheimer’s, and that consuming increased levels of vitamin K can help protect against cancer and heart disease.
Christmas, New Years, Birthdays, Anniversaries and more – Milestones and reminders of the year gone by. These occasions marking a moment of life transitions make us reflect back on the things we achieved and those we failed at. Some of us turn around to start afresh and make new commitments to our health, our bodies, work routines and lifestyle but how many times have these commitments changed us on the outside? And why haven’t we reflected on how kind we were this year or showing empathy to those around us? Hardly, right? Because deep inside we know these areas that need our focus but often get blurred with displaced priorities.
Our physical fitness is surely important and crucial for us to function but our spiritual health determines the extent to which we can allow the functioning. While you will build your muscles and tone your body through physical training don’t discount the power of spiritual fitness. Your mind achieves a sense of calm and balance when you allow it to have faith in a higher power. No, we are not saying religion or a prayer, that is the most common misconception. We are really just thinking of taking control of attitude, beliefs and practices that impact our healths. Thats true! Just as we have or physical fitness levels, we have our spiritual fitness levels too – they rule our energy levels, moods, concentration and the overall alignment of our bodies.
Here are some ways you can start your journey of spiritual fitness:
1. Declutter the negative:
This one is a task for you to do – Keep away from all that brings negativity to your mind. Look at it like this, the space in our minds is precious and limited. The thoughts, beliefs and opinions that we allow in, stay! Lessen the external chaos to bring internal calmness and stay balanced.
2. Know your spiritual side:
When we set ourselves on the spiritual quest, we overlook our personality or what defines spirituality for us. It is pretty much the same like our other preferences – no two people have the same personality and your spiritual practice is something for you to explore. Begin by creating a list of activities that make you happy or bring peace.
3. Build a community:
The people you surround yourself with make all the contribution in your spiritual growth. If you’re starting alone then find and connect with people who have a similar quest as yours. They will motivate your intentions and become a larger part of supporting spiritual growth.
4. Break the cycle:
Dedicate yourself to one daily and one weekly practice, something that reconnects you internally and breaks the on going chaos from you daily routine. Between family, work, routine and chores – there is enough to take your day away but allowing exclusive 30 minutes to yourself will bring back internal alignment.
These are some great simple ways to begin your journey so resolutions or no resolutions, make yourself a promise to gain spiritual strength!
Yoga and nutrition are two sides of the same coin and that leaves one incomplete without the other. Yogic wisdom comes from accepting the right nutrition for the body and conscious consumption of pure foods but we often miss one for the other. It also believes that our mind, body and soul are one, which cannot be separated. Our bodies achieve balance through our exercise, spirituality and by bringing about harmony in our surroundings – including the way we live, eat and also breath.
According to Ayurvedic principles, in order to achieve physical strength, a calm mind and good health – we must consume the purest forms of foods also known as sattvic foods in the Ayurvedic terminology. These foods are light, easily digestible and many of them grow above the ground adding beneficial effects on the body’s nervous and also digestive systems. Sattvic foods can help enhance your practice and promote a calm mind + a fit body with a balanced flow of energy between the two.
The following foods help promote holistic wellness and bring your mind, body and soul in alignment.
The Vedas call ghee the ‘first and the most essential of all foods‘.and ghee is a central element of the Vedic culture. It is sacred and a celebrated symbol of auspiciousness, nourishment and healing as well as an esteemed article of everyday use.
2. Sprouted whole grains
The prime source of nourishment whole sprouted grains are symbolic of health, happiness, and prosperity. You could consider adding oatmeal, barley or sprouted rice to your meals.
3. Fresh Organic Fruits
Most fruits like apples, bananas, berries, grapes, melons, oranges, peaches, and plums are considered especially sattvic. Organic fruits are also considered symbols of spirituality and generosity.
Your best alternate to white sugar, honey can be used in moderation as part of a pure diet.
5. Nuts and seeds
Make this a good night ritual – soak a handful of nuts and seeds overnight to remove their natural enzyme inhibitors, this makes them easier for your body to digest. Almonds, hemp seeds, pine nuts, sesame seeds, walnuts, and flax seeds are all great choices.
Use a magic spell to identify the best of them “the smaller the better”. Smaller beans, such as mung beans, split peas, and lentils, are easier to digest and are beneficial for the body. Legumes combines with whole grains act as a complete protein source.
Herbs directly support the mind and are also often used in conjunction with meditation. Common sattvic herbs include:
Ashwagandha – To combat stress, fatigue, and difficulty concentrating.
Bacopa – To reduce anxiety and improve memory formation.
Calamus – Used as a sedative and muscle relaxant.
Gotu kola – To enhance meditation.
Gingko – To balance many symptoms of dis-ease within the body, including issues with the heart, lungs, and kidneys.
Saffron – To pacify all three doshas, and it is often used in cooking.
Tulsi – To help balance the body.
Yoga, nutrition and ayurveda are one in their composition. Yoga is food for the body while nutrition and ayurveda together heal the body internally through various foods. Together, yoga, meditation, nutrition, and herbal supplements can help ground the body and enlighten the mind.
You don’t remember the last time you went to the gym or exercised without your shoes on because nothing works your adrenaline as much as a run? Then you’re in it for the runner’s high?. While running is a great form of exercise, we often neglect the additional workout our bodies require to bring flexibility. Flexibility is the greatest benefit of practising yoga. Following a simple yoga routine before your run to warm up and post run to cool down can bring a great change in your physical abilities. Some of us feel yoga only works a part of our cardiovascular muscles but it is interesting to know that with the right intensity, yoga can challenge our physical capabilities just as much as Running. Moreover, yoga can provide the much needed focus, balance and control one needs to accomplish their greatest runs.
Here are 4 asanas to help you stay resistant / immune injury prone and make you a better runner.
1. Low Lunge
Benefits: Stretches hip flexors; strengthens hamstrings and quads. This asana demands a strong sense of balance.
To Do: From Downward Dog, step your right foot forward between your hands. Lower your left knee and, keeping the right knee in place, slide the left one back. Turn the top of your left foot to the floor and lift your torso upright. Then sweep your arms out to the sides and up overhead. Drop your tailbone toward the floor and look up. Hold for 10 breaths, release, and repeat on the other side.
2. Reclining Pigeon
Benefits: Releases tension and tightness in the hips.
To Do: Lie on your back with your knees bent and your thighs parallel and hip-distance apart. Cross your left ankle over your right thigh. Reach your left arm through the space between your thighs and reach your right arm around the outside of your right thigh.
Clasp your hands below your right knee and flex your left foot. If your head comes off your mat, place a pillow or block beneath your head. Hold for 10 breaths and repeat on the other leg.
3. Reclining Spinal Twist
Benefits: Relaxes the lower back and stretches the glutes.
To Do: From Reclining Cow Face, lower your legs and twist to your left while keeping your legs intertwined. Extend both arms out to your sides. Turn your head to the right and relax for 10 breaths. Switch sides.
4. Legs Up the Wall
Benefits: Relieves tension in legs, feet, and back; stretches hamstrings and glutes.
To Do: Slide up beside an open wall space, with your hips as close to the base of the wall as is comfortable. Swing your legs up the wall and lie back. Rest here anywhere from 10 breaths to 10 minutes. Some people even nod off—sleep is the most essential recovery pose.
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