January Newsletter 2016
Purpose of Asana or Yoga Exercises
"Yoga postures or asana are one of the most important systems of physical culture ever invented. They reflect an amazing understanding of how the body works and particularly, how we release tension at a deep level from tissue, organs and joints.
Asana keep the body in the best possible health. They provide specific positions and movements designed to strengthen and stretch musculature to effectively move the body away from small pains and illness back to perfect health and normal balance. They keep teh spinal column subtle in order to create the optimal flow of energy through the nerves that enervate the organs and glandular systems"
Yoga and Ayurveda David Frawley
The Science of Life/Ayurveda
There are 3 dosha or constitutions in Ayurveda.
Pitta, Vata, Kapha.
Pitta is made up of the energy fire and a little water. Pitta energy is strongest in summer when the weather is hot which is why I am choosing to talk about pitta.
What does this mean?
The fire energy effects your emotional and physical well being. Mentally you are more likely to become irritable, angry or inpatient. Pitta when balanced is motivating and helps you make things happen. Yoga classes are always busier in summer. Health problems in the body due to a pitta inbalance are inflammatory, red, hot conditions such as eczema and other skin problems.
Therefore in summer Ayurveda recommends you eat more raw/cool foods especially if your individual constitution is also pitta. Avoid chilli and hot, spicy, sour foods. Drinks should be cool but not icy cold.
Drink Herbal Teas such as hibiscus, jasmine, nettle, mint and berry.
My cooling digestive tea is also beneficial for health in summer. Cost $9
The three dosha are part of everything including yoga postures. Yoga postures beneficial for pitta should help cool and calm the body. Encourage liver function and dispel heat from the digestive tract.
These include all sitting postures except lion
Standing hip opening postures such as the tree and triangle
I adapt my classes dependent on the season and changes in temperature to help keep your body and mind balanced. I teach more of the cooling postures in summer and more heating postures such as sun salutation in the winter months. If the weather is wild and windy or changeable then more meditation and walming, calming postures are beneficial to prevent a Vata inbalance.
Cool as a Cucumber
Cucumber is good for balancing Pitta Dosha. It is cooling in energy.
I slice cucumber lengthwise about 5 cms long and load them with lovely dips.
Tzatziki - Yoghurt, garlic, mint, grated cucumber
Bean Pate - Blend cooked mixed beans, a large handful of soaked almonds, tamari, garlic and lemon juice.
Pesto - Blend soaked almonds, parmesan, basil, garlic, extra virgin olive oil.
Cucumbers are rich in silicon which is found in few foods and especially beneficial for the skin and bones. it helps prevent osteoporosis and arthritis. Silica promotes hair and nail growth.
Cucumbers contain sulphur also good for the skin and natural chlorine ( not the nasty chemicals added to our drinking water. ) Chlorine rejuvenates and clenses the skin. Natural chlorine also helps with the digestion of fats and protein. Cucumber is a diuretic and helps prevent fluid retention, kidney stones, high blood pressure and rheumatism. All of which are caused by an in balance in Pitta Dosha.
The seeds contain numerous nutrients such as Vitamin E. Add cucmber to your smoothie in summer. Blended or finely crushed seeds are much easier for your body to digest.
I am waiting for my Giant Russian Cucumbers to take off in my garden.
I had an endless supply all through summer last year and into May.
I purchase my seeds from Greenharvest or Diggers both online Organic stores.
Wishing you a prosperous New Year