Monday, January 21, 2013

Kumbh Mela 2013

Kumbh Mela 2013 is one of the biggest Hindu Pilgrimage and festival in Hinduism from January 14 - February 3rd.  Pilgrims gather at the sacred river to bathe and purify their souls, and cleanse from sins.  It happens every 12 years.  The last Festival had an estimated 70 million participants and this current one is expected to have over 100 million participants.  People come from all over the world, to bathe in the sacred rivers, to witness the Sadhus (dressed in orange), naga baba's (naked as symbol complete aparigrapha), yogis,  and other devotees immerse themselves in this sacred ritual to cleanse their souls and purify from any negative energy.

The river Ganga-Yamuna and mythical Saraswati are said to hold the necatar from the Kumbh (pitcher) of the Gods after the seas were churned.  Aside from witnessing the mass baptismal like purification of Hindu devotees, people who participate enjoy spiritual discourses, devotional kirtan, and feeding of many people (holy people and poor).

Saturday, January 5, 2013

I Heart Chia Seeds

For many people who were around in the 80's the popular commercial on Television was for Chia Pets.  The concept of spreading wet seeds on the pottery animal figure only to watch it grow was a novelty gift.  Today the same Chia Seeds also called Salvia Hispanica L are being embraced as the best super food around.  For those of us who are determined to embrace a healthier lifestyle this new year, we need options with optimal benefits.  There are many people who question how to ensure protein or calcium levels when eating a plant based diet, and need options.  This article is about one of my favorite options which is loaded with health benefits and has a recommended daily intake of only 1 TBS a day.  Be sure to drink plenty of water as they are high in fibre.

I Love Chia Seeds and here is my TOP 10 reasons why you should too!
  1. It is 20% protein and a complete protein with all 8 essential amino acids.
  2. It is super high in fibre which aids in digestion
  3. It has 20% Omega ALA great for brain and heart health (8 times more than Salmon)
  4. It is loaded with antioxidants (4 times more than blueberries)
  5. It is high in Iron (3 times more than in spinach)
  6. It balances blood glucose levels (therefore great for diabetics)
  7. It is Gluten Free (for those conscious about the GMO Wheat or those with wheat intolerance)
  8. It is high in potassium (2 times more than in a banana) 
  9. It is high in Calcium and Magnesium (5 times the amount found in milk along with boron for absorption)
  10. It is high in vitamin C (7 times more than found in oranges)

  1. Vegans can use as an egg replaces by adding water (Ratio is 3 Tbs Water, 1 Tbs Chia Seeds = 1 Egg)
  2. Tapioca Fans can use it for that Tapioca Pudding Treat Fix they crave (1/4 cup Chia Seeds, 1 cup almond/coconut milk add your cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, nutmeg, 4 dates for sweetness, blend together, let sit for 90 minutes in the fridge and VOILA!!!)
  3. You can add to your daily smoothie for added sweetness
  4. You can sprinkle onto your cereal or oatmeal
  5. You can sprinkle onto your yogurt for a nice crunch

You can sprinkle Chia Seeds onto most of your foods for the healthy benefits, and texture.  Also it is great to note that Chia seeds are excellent for healthy hair, skin and nails.  Cha Cha Cha Chia!!!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happy New Year 2013

Happy New Year, welcoming the year of the snake, 2013, the age of aquarius.  I cannot enter this new year without gratitude for 2012.  The previous year brought me so many adventures all over India, Canada, USA (LA, NYC) to share Yoga Teacher Training as a guest teacher or a host, to inspire & be inspired.  I have so much gratitude to the students, and co-teachers who shared in these amazing experiences.  The previous year also brought me challenges for which I am grateful for the opportunity to grow and learn.

We made it passed the Maayan Apocolypse and have entered a new chapter.  While most gyms and yoga studios are busy promoting packages for a healthy start to the new year, individuals are setting goals to trim the waistline, and people all over and hopeful for a better year, commitment to the plan is key.  Whether your goal is better health, better relationships, better job, better travel, better spiritual evolution, all goals require a purpose, a plan, and a positive outlook.  While I would recommend daily asana, pranayama, and a healthy diet which includes more vegetables & fruits and less sugar and processed or GMO products, no adjustments should ever be approached with the mental process of deprivation, but instead JOY.  In fact we should enjoy the process and focus on the benefits.  Regardless of your resolution this new year, enjoy the process and have an attitude of gratitude.

TOP 10 Ways to Begin an AMAZING 2013:
  1. With a heart of Gratitude: Be thankful as often as possible, to people, to your faith, to your blessings and lessons/challenges.
  2. With a Dream Board: Creating a Picture Board with dreams and aspirations to help motivate you to maintain focus on making dreams come true.
  3. Clean your space: Make your space sacred and recognize the direct impact our surroundings have on our mental and emotional body, so get rid of the clutter.
  4. Clean your Heart: Sometimes you cannot get rid of the clutter of people that surround you, but you can adjust the amount of attention you give to negative people/situations, focus on the roses in your life rather than thorns.  Ignore the haters and wish them well.
  5. With Healthy Dietary Intake: While some may view dieting as a means of deprivation, instead commit to increasing water intake to maintain hydration, and increasing healthy items at meal times.  Eventually the glowing skin, healthy energy and weight loss will inspire a lifestyle change that is commited to healthy dietary habits.
  6. With a Quiet Mind: Quiet the Noise, commit to at least 10 minutes a day away from noise, either in prayer or meditation.  No gadgets, no requirements, except stillness and deep breaths.
  7. With Affirmation: Our word/mantra have a direct effect on our lives, so consciously choose your words.
  8. Give: Spend some time in Karma Yoga, or Volunteering.  Give back to the community, to an individual, donate clothes, donate time.....give and only then does the Universe give back.
  9. With movement:  While stillness is wonderful, our body is meant to move.  Choose to walk, ride a bike, dance, run, or challenge yourself in your asana practice, take a group fitness class, pole dance class, zumba class....whatever inspires you to move and get your heart rate up.  Also move your mind by enjoying music, reading, and taking courses/classes like Yoga Teacher Training, Reiki, Meditation etc., to evolve your being.
  10. LOVE: Love yourself, celebrate yourself, and Love the world around you.  The grumpy people might be annoyed by your zest for life, but soon enough your LOVE may soften their heart.

Wishing everyone an amazing 2013 with love, peace, joy, adventure, prosperity, health, and many opportunities to give thanks.  Thank you all for sharing in the journey. Namaste