This weekend we hosted our very first food based yoga workshop with Hannah Patterson from Make it Healthy.
Three hours just flew by as Mick gave a talk on the gunnas and led a posture and breathing based routine focused on prana flow emphasising twists and abdominal body work.
Hannah demonstrated the making of a powerful green juice, ginger balls and a very tasty carob smoothie. We finished with a wonderful pumpkin pie made by Hannah in honour of Halloween.
All in all a fantastic workshop designed to show how yoga practice can be taken off the mat and into day-to-day life with the choices we make on how and what we eat.
Thank you everyone for making the event a big success. You can visit Hannah’s web site here for the recipes…
Not a day goes by…at YLP HQ without someone laughing at Mick and what he gets up to. During busy baking preparations for Christmas, out of the oven popped a gingerbread version of Mick performing the tree complete with trade mark stripes and glasses.
Ho ho ho…
You don’t have to be a vegetarian to practice yoga but after a while you start to naturally balance out your diet mainly because it ‘feels’ the right thing to do. As usual our scientists are a millennia or so behind with the latest report that we all need to eat more fruit and vegetables because the level of meat consumption and the intensity of agro-business required to support it in the west is one of the key causes of climate change.
All we need now is to build more prana farms and we will all be saved…
Our special chocolate arrived in the office this morning for Thursday’s workshop. Sue got there first but I managed to stop her eating it…
We have raw chocolate powder, raw chocolate nibbles (with raisins) and raw mint and orange chocolate. There are about 6 workshop places left so if you want to come along you can book on the workshop page here or just drop in and pay on the night. If you have a YogaLife Pass this workshop will count as one of your classes.
There will be some postures with emphasis on breathing and visualisation. We will be combining taste sensation with colour and visualisation. Using different variations of yoga nidra we will focus in and work to stimulate our energy system, particularly two key chakras.
So what are chakras?
Its a Sanskrit term meaning wheel or turn. Chakras are part of our energy (prana) body system. You have 7 of them running vertically through your physical body from the top of the head to your base. The best way to think about them is as little balls or clusters of energy that link the energy and physical body together. Each Chakra corresponds to different physical and emotional aspects of ourselves. The two chakra we will be focussing on are, Anahata and Swadisthana.
Anahata is located in the chest and relates to complex emotions, compassion, tenderness, unconditional love, equilibrium, rejection and well-being. Anahata also governs circulation, unconditional love for the self and others. Its colour is green.
Swadisthana is located in the sacrum and relates to reproduction, creativity, relationships, violence, addictions, basic emotional needs, and pleasure and enthusiasm. Its colour is orange.
A number of you YogaLifers have asked for the recipe for the Sivananda cookies we have at the end of our workshops. Here it is:
These are very popular. Students like to have a nutritious cookie after taking a Yoga class. They are good for you, they are filling, and they taste SOOOOO good. Makes about 20 cookies.
3 1/2 cups oats
2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup raisins 1 cup ground almonds or hazelnuts
3/4 cup oil
1 1/2 cups honey3/4 cup milk
1/4 tsp. Salt
3/4 tsp. Nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
1 tbsp. baking powder
Mix wet ingredients. Mix and sift all dry ingredients (except nuts) into the wet ones. Now add the ground nuts. Shape cookies 2 to 3 inches onto greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 15-20 minutes.
Jane also made some brilliant green smoothie for Back on Track 2013. Here is the recipe for that too..
Stick of celery
Slice of lime
Handful of spinach
Chunk of cucumber 1″
Juice all these ingredients then add to blender with ice and 1/4 avocado.
This week we talked a little about Pantajali’s 8 limbs of yoga. The first two are Yama and Niyama. Don’t worry about trying to remember them. You will find that they will begin to emerge as you progress along your yoga journey. This is why it often best not to try and ‘understand’ yogic principles as you start out, but just experience them as they emerge within you. As Sivananda often used to say, ‘an ounce of practice is worth a ton of theory’.
We had some teaching aids this week, which comprised an orange!
Yogis often avoid eating meat. You don’t need to be a vegetarian to practice yoga but you will start to notice how certain foods affect your mind and body as your awareness begins to deepen and clarify. For example, imported Belgium beer, although really nice will stiffen the body the following day! Meat of course involves killing. So the first issue at stake here is avoiding harming other living things. I am the only one in my house to pick up spiders and usher out of them outside. It’s not that I love spiders, it’s just that I can’t bring myself to stamp on them. This is called Ahimsa, which is the practice of non-violence, which includes, physical, mental or emotional violence to each other or our selves. This why during our classes we say there is no such thing as competition, defeat or failure in yoga – just being and doing (a big theme in YogaLife, more on that later).
So the orange?
Well the orange is ALIVE not dead. As is all other foods that come out of the ground. When we eat meat and place it into our own bodies its DEAD. So there is no benefit to us in terms of adding energy (prana). Dead meat is Tamasic. Oranges are alive when we eat them. They are full of life energy. They are Sattvic along as they are ripe and fresh. Like all living things they will be subject to the gunnas and thus will change from pure alive to dead and inert at some point.
So yogis do eat living things. What a surprise!
Since our workshop last Sunday a few have asked for the Sivananda Breakfast Muffin recipe. Here it is. There are also other great yoga food recipe ideas on the Sivananda site.
Things are hotting up this morning over at YogaLife HQ. The Sivananda Breakfast muffins have just emerged for the oven ready to be consumed at tomorrows workshop. Meanwhile Mick is preparing the running order, sorting out the music and thinking about how to translate yoga concepts into simple easy to read diagrams. As they say in the US..’.its gonna be awesome…’