Energy

“If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.” Nicola Tesla

We are made of energy. The energy flows within our system and it is exchanged with the entire universe. Happiness is about reaching and keeping a harmonious energy environment.
Behaviors such as intimidating, interrogating, looking indifferent and complaining are toxic and impact negatively our energy stability.
As we cannot control the external elements we should avoid these toxic behaviors/persons. On the other side we control entirely ourselves and therefore should not trigger them. “Don’t do to others what you don’t want them to do to you”

Yoga’s science and technology provides the tools to be aware and manage our energy and reach blissfulness. We don’t need to be flexible, have a mat, a legging, be in studio etc… We just need to seat comfortably, close our eye and breathe a bit deeper than usually… Voila !!! We are doing Yoga !!!

Ash Gourd – High Prana Food

Ash gourd, also known as Benincasa hispida, winter melon, wax gourd, white pumpkin, and Chinese watermelon, is a fruit native to parts of Southern Asia.

It grows on a vine and matures into a round or oblong melon that’s approximately the same size and color as a watermelon. Immature ash gourd is coated in fine hairs which disappear as the gourd ripens. The exterior color can vary between dark green to a pale gray. Once ripen, the exterior morphs into a powdery ash-colored coating that gives the fruit its common name “ash gourd”.

Ash Gourd comprises 96% water and is very low in calories, fat, protein, and carbs. Yet, it remains rich in fiber and provides beneficial vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C and B-complex vitamins such as niacin, thiamine and riboflavin. Ash gourd is also a valuable source of minerals like iron, potassium, zinc, calcium and magnesium.

The taste of ash gourd is very mild, similar to cucumber and therefore can be incorporated into all kinds of soups, stews, salads, smoothies, desserts, juices or eaten raw similarly to cucumber.

It offers various health benefits and has been used in traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine for centuries. The yogis of India have long regarded ash gourd as one of the most naturally energizing foods due to its high quotient of what yogic science refers to as “prana”, or vital life energy. To retain maximum vital energy, ash gourd should be eaten raw. See my post on Pranic Food

Ash gourd & Yogurt Salad Recipe
Seasoning
Ingredients:
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 tsp Mustard Seeds
1/2 handful Curry Leaves

Instructions:
Add olive oil in a small pan over medium eat
Add mustard seeds and reduce heat when they start to pop
Add curry leaves and stir until they are crispy
Set aside

Salad
Ingredients:
– 1 medium size ash gourd
– 200g plain yogurt (milk or plant based)
– Handfull of coriander leaves
– Salt and pepper

Instructions:
– Wash and peel ash gourd, remove part with seeds and grate finely (squeeze out water)
– Mix ash gourd, yogurt, seasoning and salt & pepper to taste
– Wash and chopped coriander leaves and decorate

Bon Appetit

Balancing your body – Homeostasis

In yoga, there are many balance postures and some of them can be impressive like handstand, one-legged ones. However, body balance is not only about postures. Have you heard about homeostasis??? This is about balance or equilibrium in our body, mind and energy.

Homeostasis (homeo = “similar”, stasis = state, position, “standing still”) refers to the ability of the body to unconsciously regulates its temperature, fluid balance, blood pH, and oxygen tension within narrow limits, while obtaining nutrition to provide the energy to maintain homeostasis to survive. This is the condition of optimal functioning for the organism. Yoga stimulates homeostasis to help achieve & maintain the physiological (physical body systems), emotional (our emotions), mental (our thoughts) balance.

In Yoga, postures (Asana) and breathing practices (Pranayama, Bandha, Kriya…) largely stimulate homeostatic functions of our body through their regulatory activation of endocrine and autonomic nervous systems.
Deep breathing stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for the return of calm, as well as recovery and tissue repair.
Homeostasis also applies to emotions and thoughts. Indeed, when we put down our emotions, feelings and thoughts, at some point of time tension builds up and creates pressure and irritation. When we do not allow our emotions to be felt freely and liberated, they return to stay in our cells and can cause long term illness.

Taking responsibility for our health and well-being with yoga by stimulating our homeostatic systems of elimination, cell regeneration and maintenance of balance, enables physical and mental balance and strengthens sustainable operations of the whole organism that comes directly from within.

Pranic Food

In yogic philosophy, Prana which is a Sanskrit word that has a number of interpretations in English, including “life force,” “energy” and “vital principle” is also known as Chi or Ki in other traditions. All living beings have the innate ability to absorb and utilize Prana to sustain life. Food or Eart is one of the 3 sources of Prana with Air and Sun.
In order to extend and improve our energy and therefore our health and wellness we can take a look at how food is categorized in yogic and ayurvedic principles and integrate it in our daily life.

In yogic and ayurvedic principle, the food is categorized as following:
1. Positive pranic food
2. Neutral pranic food
3. Negative pranic food

1. The positive pranic food
When positive pranic food is consumed it adds prana and therefore increase the pranic energy, vital energy into our system.
List: Ash Gourd (Winter melon), Lemon, Honey, Coconut, Nuts and seeds, Raw and dried fruits, Ripe vegetables, Sprouted grams, Legumes (peas, beans, lentils, etc.) and Cereals (rice, buckwheat, barley, millet, oats, teff, spelt etc.)

2. Neutral pranic food
When neutral or zero pranic food is consumed, it neither adds nor takes away pranic energy. It is only eaten for taste.
List: Potato and Tomato

3. Negative pranic food
When negative pranic food is consumed, it takes away prana from the system. It stimulates us on a nervous level but it takes away our vital energy.
List: Garlic, Onion, Asafoetida, Chili peppers, Eggplant, Vinegar, Cacao, Cocoa, Coffee, Tea, Alcohol, Tobacco and other stimulants and intoxicants

Some of the negative pranic foods have medicinal properties and they need to be used as a medicine and should not be part of our daily diet as it may result in health issues in the long term.

The optimum way to consume the food is opting for vegetarian food in its raw form ou sprouted. They are easy to digest and pass through our digestive system within 3-6 hours.
Some of the vegetarian food have to be cooked but nowaday we tend to over cook them killing all the digestive enzymes which make them hard to digest. It takes vegetarian cooked food between 18 to 24 hours to pass through our system. In addition we don’t feel comfortable.
Non-Vegetarian have no prana as it left the animal when it is killed. In addtion, non-vegetarian foods develop inertia in the body as it takes about 32 to 48 hours to pass through our system

Daily food choices are essential to support energy levels and ways of being. Considering all the above consciously helps promote holistic health.