Delicious Ayurvedic Probiotic Drink Recipe!

Written by: The Art of Living Foundation

Fasting is a process that proves to be an effective method to ignite the digestive Agni or the body’s inner fire and burn off the accumulated impurities and amas or toxic wastes in the body. Amas are the root cause of almost all diseases. Fasting rejuvenates the mind, body and spirit entirely. It nurtures general wellness by discarding toxins and gas, and augmenting mental lucidity. It also makes the physical state light and easy.
In Ayurveda fasting depends on the body constitution based on dosha and its dependent cleansing needs. In fact it does not support the route of completely abstaining from food or water for long time periods as it leads to disharmony. It also drains the dhatus or body tissues. This is why Ayurveda advocates more of regular, short span detoxifying fasts than infrequent long drawn hunger strikes. This type of fasting is non-stressful and gentle. It is very convenient and can be easily integrated into one’s schedule. Such fasting boosts the body energy level and cleanses the body beautifully.

From a scientific standpoint. Food literally is like input or information for the body. Like any other form of matter it consists of atomic particles in a specific arrangement. These get broken down by the various elements of Agni comprising of enzymes, hydrochloric acid, etc., and reform new cells. Simply put, during the process of fasting the quantity of the input in the digestive system tends to disintegrate and then reassembles. They do this by absorbing the nutrients. Major organs such as the stomach, intestines, pancreas, and gall bladder get ample rest and this swiftly leads to their revival. The process strengthens digestion and bolsters the immunity of a person. According to Ayurveda, fasts help in maintaining balance within the body. Otherwise while curing one condition, one can set off another.
There are four main classifications of fasting according to the ancient practices of Ayurveda. These are decided based on factors such as one’s body structure and composition, digestive power, age and toxin level. One must also check the overall health status like if one is suffering from any ailments or health conditions. Due to this reason professional recommendation is important.
The type and style of fasting is different for different individuals. A fast pattern based on a proper Ayurveda diet is always customized to suit the person. There are four distinct classifications based on the kind of intake that goes into the system. These include firstly consuming fruits, veggies and juices only. The second type involves consuming light foods like khichdi, mashed rice, and kanji. The third is completely staying away from all solid foods and drinking fluids like water and herbal teas. Water can be consumed during the first three. The fourth and most severe is completely abstaining from food and water for a short spell.
In fact during normal meals too, Ayurveda doesn’t encourage excess eating. In fact one should consume only the amount that can be cupped by one’s hands. If we eat too much the excess amount is partially digested and stays lodged permanently. Heavy meals put a strain on the digestive tract and get stored as unwanted flab in the body.
Detoxification fasts in Ayurveda are streamlined with body types. The three doshas namely Vatta, Pitta and Kapha have their very own specifications. During fasts Vatta types can add warming spices, starchy vegetables, a little oil and fruits like avocado and bananas to their meal plan. Vata types are generally lean with a dry, cold dosha and their bodies don’t gel with total fasting. Due to the excess of air and ether lack of food can make them very weak.

Those with Pitta dosha can try lime juice with a dash of coconut water and sprinkled with cooling coriander leaves. Kaphas can also integrate warming spices into the diet but must avoid starch and oil. These two types have larger builds and more energy with weigh gain tendencies. Both can benefit from aggressive abstinence. Generally these fasts don’t last more than a couple of days.
Ayurveda supports regularly going in for partial fasting. This can be done for at least a day or so once every week. This is known as a mono diet. One can drink plenty of salt-free fluids like water, vegetable juice, raw milk boiled with ginger and yogurt mixed with cumin powder and water. A single light meal at noon is ideal. This can consist of milk, rice, yogurt, veggies, fruits, yellow lentil garnished with pepper, ginger, cumin, etc. One can also extend a mono diet for 2-5 days if one can manage the same. It will result in complete detoxification. One should not be tempted to snack. The value of hunger translates to a positive effect for the body at the end of the day. During the time of the fast one must maintain a certain intake of water. Hence one should frequently drink water and expel the same from the body. This is also a technique for discharging the toxins.
Change in seasons is also great for fasting according to the principles of Ayurveda. Fasting can be done any time but usually the cusp between winter and spring is a great time for any kind of cleansing therapy. It helps one to release the toxins that build up in the body over the harsh winter months. Fasting is not just cutting food but also a time for breathing exercises and positive thinking.
This is how a detoxifying fast can completely purify and energize the body and mind in order to promote fitness, wellness and contentment.

Carrot kanji (probiotic drink)recipe | gajar kanji recipe
**prep time
15 mins
total time
15 mins
carrot kanji recipe – a fermented north indian probiotic drink made from carrots, beetroot and ground mustard and water.carrots, beetroot and ground mustard and water.
serves: 2 litres of kanji drink
ingredients (measuring cup used, 1 cup = 250 ml)
5-6 medium sized carrots/gajar
2 small beetroots
8 cups water – approx 2 litres of water (boiled & filtered or purified)
1 or 1.5 tsp red chili powder
3 tbsp mustard powder (dry grind 2 or 2.5 tbsp mustard)
black salt as required
how to make the recipe:
rinse and then peel the carrots and beetroots.
chop into long pieces.
mix all the ingredients in a glass or ceramic jars.
cover with a lid or muslin cloth and keep the jars in the sun for 3-4 days.
stir with a wooden spoon everyday before keeping the jars back in the sun.
when the kanji tastes sour, it means the drink is fermented.
Serve carrot kanji straightway or refrigerate.

Enjoy!

Tuning Into The Rhythm of Life

By Craig Hanauer E-RYT 500 RCYT

Isn’t it remarkable that a healthy vestibular system can process lower frequency rhythmic sound vibrations and translate them into corresponding bodily movements? Alfred Tomatis the creator of the Tomatis Listening Method observed that both rhythm and sound are processed through different parts of the human ear. He described the vestibular apparatus as the ear of the body, the part involved in the feeling and production of movement and rhythm, and the cochlea or hearing apparatus deals with the perception of sounds and pitch. Music helps to join brain and body in their response to the resonance of sound so that the body itself becomes an instrument of expression.

It is no coincidence that many disciplines designed to address vestibular dysfunction have a rhythmic component to them. Take for example traditional Sensory Integration Therapy’s focus on rhythmic movements to stimulate the vestibular system in different ways; Harald Blomberg’s Rhythmic Movement Therapy designed to address nonintegrated primitive reflexes through rhythmic movements; and although not aimed specifically at vestibular dysfunction, the therapeutic branch of Eurythmy (a practice common to Rudolph Steiner’s Waldorf Schools around the world) aims to restore an individual towards balance and equilibrium.

Clearly rhythmic movements are comforting and organizing for many children, and that is why rocking a baby tends to be soothing and swinging forward and back upon a swing is a popular activity for many kids. But what about the child who avoids the swing or is upset by even a gentle rocking motion? What does this say about her vestibular system, and how can she gradually become acclimatized to such movements so that she begins to enjoy them and to develop a corresponding internal rhythm and order?

It is through being bounced, rocked, and spun that babies develop a healthy vestibular system, so children who are hypersensitive to vestibular input should not be allowed to avoid it completely, but rather should be exposed to it with consideration to time and intensity. Much like the child who has difficulty waiting; if always called upon immediately s/he will have no opportunity to increase her capacity to wait, however kept waiting too long will send her into unproductive distress.

So what does all of this have to do with Children’s Yoga? I wasn’t aware of the many ways I was already incorporating rhythmic movements into my children’s yoga classes until I attended training on Blomberg Rhythmic Movement Therapy. All of that rocking, rolling and moving to music has a rhythmic component to it, and engaging my students through rhythm makes the class run so much more smoothly; it’s is akin to moving with the river rather than against it. In addition, I have become aware of so many new ways of incorporating rhythmic movements into my classes, now that I see how these movements benefit my students, and myself in terms of the energy I expend in leading a class. We often hear the expression “being in the rhythm of life” and this is something that can begin like so many other things on the yoga mat!


 

You can read more about Craig and his programs by visiting his websites and Facebook page.

Words that start with ‘M’: Mindfulness & Mental Health

By Marni Levitt

Mindfulness and Yoga changed my life.

Not only in terms of REDUCING STRESS and increasing intuition and creativity, BUT ALSO: they are tools that systematically helped me to become a BETTER PERSON, AND helped me to discover my true GIFTS and TALENTS to share with others, and to inspire the best in them, through my LIFE’S WORK and MISSION. I want that for you, your students, your clients, your team, your family.

Mindfulness and Yoga are tools that have had a huge impact on my life – in fact, they have completely altered my patterns of relating to my self, other people and the world at large. I have literally experienced miracles as a direct result of my practise of yoga and mindfulness. I have connected with just the right person at the right time (when I needed something), I have had powerful access to my intuition that has helped me to solve significant problems at work and in life. I have sensed that something important was about to happen, before it did. It has seemed almost as though, as I get to know myself deeply (the patterns of my thoughts, emotions, body sensations and energies), then I automatically know the world, and other people deeply. I believe that’s because I am in the universe, but the universe is also in me. This direct experiential knowledge (in addition to the mountains of growing scientific evidence) has huge implications for individuals, families, organizations and businesses.

In maintaining my own mental health, mindfulness has acted as a powerful compliment to aerobic exercise, healthy eating & cooking, gardening and hobbies, talk therapy, a community of friends and neighbours and self-expression through music, dance, art and writing. I have discovered that being mentally healthy means getting in touch with the unique gifts and talents I was born with, that I need to share. When I am not able to share my gifts or my brilliance, (ie. music!), then they get stuck inside me, and it doesn’t feel good. When I share them, I self-actualize while simultaneously inspiring and moving other people. Health for self means health for others. There are exponential returns when I feel I am living my life in alignment with my truth, and my true calling, and when I am present. Being present in my moment-by-moment bodily, thinking and emotional experience, is something I have learned through the practise of mindfulness.

I can’t count how many times magical connections have been made when I trust the creative process that is life! I believe that mental health is just as much a social responsibility, as it is an individual responsibility. The solutions lie in how we relate with ourselves, and each other, in a collective context. Culture is the means by which each individual relates with the whole. Move-N-Music aims to be a leader in healthy-culture creation. The culture I envision is one grounded in Mindfulness. I use cultural arts (singing, drumming, dancing, spoken word poetry, storytelling) to promote this culture. I believe we are at a turning point in our world, and we must move swiftly towards a more productive and healthy way of being. Our very ecosystems, economic systems, healthcare, education and business systems are at stake if we do not change and move towards health. All of these systems impact your own personal wellness, success and happiness directly.

Each person is part-and-parcel of the larger whole. So many jobs and workplaces structured in our modern world do not allow people to use or express their natural gifts. In the world of public school teaching, the resources were often scarce, and the systemic stresses in the system so significant, that sometimes I could not even teach music, I was just maintaining safety in the room. As human beings with great potential, I believe we can do much better in structuring our systems to facilitate real growth! Mindfulness is one of the tools that can give us back what is natural and inherent in all of us: the power to be authentically human, and to thrive.


Want to learn more about The Move-N-Music Story? Click here:

Want to introduce habits to foster Mental Health for your school, workplace, family or organization?

Move-N-Music offers Mind-Body Breaks Presentation & Workshops: An Inspiring and motivating start to creating positive physical and mental health

Activities include:

-Singing, Rhythmic Clapping, Movement
-Music, Sound and Breathing Games
-Fun Contests & Imaginative Play
-Singing Bowl demonstration
-Stretching, Guided Relaxation and Visualization

Email me marni@move-n-music.com or call 416-910-3114 for more information.

It is my mission to support you.
1-416-910-3114
@Move_N_Music
marni@move-n-music.com
www.move-n-music.com

Marni Levitt B.A.(Hons.), B.Ed. OCT, RYT
Founder Move-N-Music
Arts & Wellness Educator, Animator, Speaker

Health Benefits of Bitter Gourd

You Are What You Eat:  Written by The Art of Living Foundation.

Health Benefits of Bitter Gourd: Also Know as Karela or Ampalaya

1.Relieves Cold:
Ampalaya or Karela is used in treating fever and cough caused by cold. It has anti-inflammatory properties and that is why it is used against mucus accumulation and chest congestion.

2.Disinfectant:
It is used against bacteria as it has strong powerful antibiotic properties. It can be used as a disinfectant for minor wounds, burns and scrapes.

3.Lowers Blood Sugar Level:
Karela is used against diabetes. It is able to reduce the blood sugar level and prevents other side-effects caused by high blood sugar.

4.Immunity Booster:
Bittergourd removes free radicals from the body and fights infections which can lead to tissue and organ damage.

5.Lowers Blood Pressure:
It lowers the blood pressure because it is able to relax the vascular system. Lowering the high blood pressure is an important function because it can protect people from having a heart attack or stroke.

6.Headache Relief:
When the muscles around brain are under pressure, they cause headaches. Ampalaya reduces the pressure and alleviates headaches. Stress usually causes the pressure but ampalaya also helps in relieving tension and stress.

7.Improves Psoriasis:
People who suffer from psoriasis have confirmed that this plant has helped them a lot. Ampalaya juice can also help with fungal infections as athlete’s foot and fungi.

8.Spleen and liver Protection:
Overuse of alcohol and toxins can lead to damaged spleen and liver. This vegetable can regenerate and repair tissues in the body which were damaged by toxins. Ampalaya contains useful enzymes which maintain proper spleen and liver function.

9.Weight Control:
Obesity is linked with numerous health problems like diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and many others. A study showed that Karela juice is effective in preventing fat cells from forming.

10.Eye Problems:
Karela is rich in beta-carotene and other minerals which help with eye problems.

Punjabi Karela Sabzi Recipe

prep time: 10 mins cook time: 20 mins total time: 30 mins
serves: 2-3

karela sabzi – dry bitter gourd curry made in north indian style.
ingredients (measuring cup used, 1 cup = 250 ml):
5-6 medium sized karela/bitter gourd
2 or 3 medium sized onions
½ tsp turmeric powder or haldi
¼ tsp red chili powder
¼ tsp garam masala powder
¼ or ½ tsp amchur powder or dry mango powder
2 tbsp oil
salt
how to make the recipe:
Peel the karelas. Wash them in running water. Chop them. You can even slice them. Remove the seeds.
Slice the onions too.
In a kadai or pan, heat oil. Add the chopped or sliced bitter gourds.
Saute the bitter gourd on medium heat for 2 minutes. Lower the flame and saute for 2-3 minutes more.
Add the sliced onions.
Mix the sliced onions with the bitter gourd.
Saute for 2-3 minutes.
Now add the turmeric powder, red chili powder and salt.
Stir. Cook the sabzi without any lid for 7-8 minutes till the both the karela and onions are cooked and sauted well. The onions will become brown. Keep on stirring in between. Check the seasoning. Add more red chili powder or salt if required.
When the Karela sabzi is ready, sprinkle the amchur and garam masala powder. Mix it with the entire sabzi.
Garnishing Karela Sabzi with chopped cilantro/coriander leaves is optional.
Serve Karela Sabzi with phulkas, parathas and a bowl of fresh plain curd/yoghurt or sweetened curd/yoghurt. Karela Sabzi also goes very well as a side vegetable dish or accompaniment with the combination of dal rice or kadhi chawal ( punjabi curd kadhi with rice)