Vitamins Alert!

Do we get enough vitamins from the food we eat? How much vitamins do we need and how do we know if we have enough? These are the common questions that are running through our mind, especially the health conscious.
Being a vegetarian, a large part of my diet is vegetables, beans, pulses and toufu. But after reading articles and having some feedback from other vegetarian friends, they gave me the impression that Vitamin B, especially B12 may be lacking in our diet. So I googled on Vitamin B and here it goes, thought I should share with more people:

What are the Vitamin Bs?

The primary group of the B vitamins include B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 (pyridoxine), B7 (biotin), B9 (folic acid), and B12 (cyanocobalamin). In addition, there are numerous sub-groups of the Vitamin B family which are considered less pertinent to human needs, but important to other organisms and some animals.  These include B4 (adenine), B8 (inositol), B13, (orotic acid), B17 (amygdalin), B20 (carnitine), and more.

Food sources

Some foods which are considered to be high in some of the Vitamin B group are chili peppers, lentils, bananas, potatoes, and tempeh (soy based).  In addition, molasses and brewer’s yeast are good sources of B vitamins.
Oats, barley, wheat bran, avocado, salmon, Brazil nuts (and other nuts) are more good sources of B vitamins.
Dairy products and eggs are high in vitamin B12. For vegans, fortified cereal, fortified soymilk and brewer’s yeast are sources of B12 which are required in trace amounts.

The Need for Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is needed for cell division and blood formation. Neither plants nor animals make vitamin B12. Bacteria are responsible for producing vitamin B12. Animals get their vitamin B12 from eating foods contaminated with vitamin B12 and then the animal becomes a source of vitamin B12. Plant foods do not contain vitamin B12 except when they are contaminated by microorganisms or have vitamin B12 added to them. Thus, vegans need to look to fortified foods or supplements to get vitamin B12 in their diet. Although recommendations for vitamin B12 are very small, a vitamin B12 deficiency is a very serious problem leading ultimately to anemia and irreversible nerve damage. Prudent vegans will include sources of vitamin B12 in their diets. Vitamin B12 is especially important in pregnancy and lactation and for infants and children.

Importance of Vitamin B

The Vitamin B group is beneficial and even necessary for healthy bodies in numerous ways, including (but not limited to) the following:

  • Supports healthy metabolism.
  • Helps maintain healthy skin and muscle tone.
  • Improves immune system function.
  • Improves nervous system function.
  • Helps promote cell growth and division, including red blood cells.
  • Helps combat symptoms of stress, depression, and cardiovascular disease.

Deficiencies in certain B vitamins can result in such illnesses as beriberi, anemia, heart disease, and birth defects.

Memoirs of Yoga Teacher Training

Congratulations to those who have made it through the 200 Hr Yoga Teacher Training, Weekend batch from Jan to March 2010. Through your hardwork, sweat, tears (blood? I hope not) I hope this lovely bunch of girls have learnt something valuable for life. Yoga philosophy cannot be learnt just be reading, application to one’s life is more important than remembering the verses. Hope you will not stop learning Yoga as this is only the start.
Here are some photos for memories….

Maintain your relationships by Ujjayi breathing

Now back to the main part. So how do you maintain your relationship?
You want to get the your the other half to listen and at the same time hear you out instead of putting you down all the time.
This is the practice known as “Ujjayi” breathing or pranayama technique.
Ujjayi Pranayama – With Bandhas (With Breath retention)
Sanskrit: Ud-jayi Ud=Upward or Superior; Jaya=Conquest/Victory. Also implies restraint or curbing

The Hatha Yoga Pradipika Says about Ujjayi:
Closing the mouth, inhale with control and concentration through the ida and pingala. so that the breath is felt from the throat to the heart and produces a sonorous sound.
This pranayama, called Ujjayi, can be done while moving, standing, sitting or walking. It removes dropsy and disorders of the nadis and dhatu.

Indications:Insomnia, Fluid retention in the body, High blood pressure, Nervousness, Phlegm in lungs
Contra-Indications:People who are excessively introverted should not practise this in excess. Those having heart disease or blood pressure should not practise with Bandhas.
For practise with Bandhas you should avoid alcohol, intoxicants and meat
Benefits of Ujjayi:

  1. Ujjayi is one of the pranayamas that all beginners should practise. It aids in quieting the tumultous, chaotic and outward going mind and helps it to increase its awareness of the internals. It is will also improve you practise of asanas greatly by increasing awareness of the changes happening within.
  2. Ujjayi is a tranquilizing pranayama and is profoundly relaxing at the psychic level and is very effective in soothing the nervous system or decreasing hyperactivity. The effects are obvious within a couple of days of practise.
  3. It is a good cure for insomnia if practised in a lying down posture Shavasana before going to bed. It also has a heating effect on the body and eliminates excess accumulated fluids in the body.
  4. Ujjayi promotes internalization of the senses (making the senses look inward) and is beneficial for the practise of meditation, and for the practise of pratyahara (which is one of the more advanced practises in ashtanga yoga).
  5. Finally, Ujjayi pranayama promotes a healthy relationship with spouses and partners alike. It can be the cure for a lot of relationship ills that has been marring couples through all ages.

Look out for more details in the next blog.

Relationship Tips from a Yoga Master #2

The Striver – There is more to life than relationships and success. Start asking questions!!
Now, let us move on to Part 2 of the process.  In this Part, i call such a person who does not want to be a slave but still achieve success, The Striver.
The Striver who embarks on self growth works on self-acceptance, effective and efficient functioning in daily activities and human relationships but not on emotional wants and needs.
The Striver, being spiritual, looks at this in a different light.  The close ones, family, friends, success are viewed at from a different perspective by creating and having a perception that “there is something more to life” than this.
The GOAL, is freedom from self created limitations, through which all human innate potential is realised, THE SELF, THE STRIVER.
What is this life worth living for? What is the purpose? Is there a pattern for success and successful relationships? With this beginning (questions), the Striver, invesigates the ideas, concepts and patterns, and all other things that we have accepted blindly.
What is ego, consciousness and mind? What is past, present and future? What are their characteristics?

Relationship Tips from a Yoga Master #1

In recent times we have been hearing of people or couples (celebrities or common man) falling to prey to failed relationships. The latest in this saga is Tiger Woods who was hammered by his wife with a golf iron and later being admitted to the hospital. You may even encounter someone within your family who has undergone or is undergoing a failed relationship.
Most relationships which fail will go through a legal process called divorce or separation. This causes hardship for both couples as well as their children (if any) or their close relations (like parents).
In an effort to stamp this growing trend of failed relationships without becoming a slave to it, we have designed a program to help couples harness their potential within and live peacefully.
In this 10 day program, we design steps to help you get out of the rut and back to action. Please look out for this blog in the upcoming days to seek help.
Good day see you again tmr.

Sutra Neti (Nasal Cleansing)

Sutra Neti demonstration by Master Paalu Ramasamy from Tirisula Yoga during a 200 Hr Yoga Teacher Training Course in Singapore. Sutra means thread and Neti means nasal cleansing. Neti is one of the six purification techniques known as Shat Kriya as documented in the literature, Hatha Yoga Pradipika. Neti helps to clean the nasal passage ways, removing excess mucus and stimulate the nerves to make the brain more alert.
Do not practice this on your own without guidance from a Yoga teacher.

Our very own Yoga Retreat Resort in Malaysia

I just came back from Johor, Iskandar, about 10 min from Tuas Checkpoint. Leisure farm is the place where our resort is going to be. I simply fell in love with that place and knew that our Yoga Retreat resort will be there. True enough, for realization, future thoughts (dreams or plans, however you want to call it) must become the present thought for things to be materialized. We bought a piece of land and are currently making plans to design and build it — Balinese style.
Leisure farm is so organized and clean – very Singaporean, that’s way we see so many Singapore cars there and we were told majority of the buyers are from Singapore. Smart choice. How long do you need to save up to buy a bungalow in Singapore? Probably in Johor, you need less than half the price.
It is so quiet, peaceful and tranquil, ideal location for Yoga retreats. In about 1 year’s time, we need not organize Yoga retreats in Bali after our Balinese resort is built.
By then, we would have many retreats within a year, as it is just a stone’s throw away from Singapore! Our very own Bali Villa in Johor.