Things we find useful, insightful and yummy and wanted to share…

Articles
Leap  by Emma Docherty
Mindful Eating by Emma Docherty
My Womb and Me by Mayella Almazan
Namaste by Jennifer Walsh-Rupakheti
Yoga Memories – A  Poem by Jennifer Walsh-Rupakheti
T.R.E.E Guide to Yoga Postures by Jennifer Walsh-Rupakheti
Bottle the Good Memories by Julie-Anne Mullan
It’s a Yoga Life by Keshav Rupakheti
Bending Over Backwards by Angela McArdle
Recipes
Hot Asian Summer Broth by Julie-Anne Mullan
Healthy Coconut Almond Cookie Bites by Jennifer Walsh-Rupakheti
Pumpkin Cake with Essential Oil of Mandarin by Mayella Almazan
Namaste Kitchen – Herby Pea Soup by Jennifer Walsh-Rupakheti
Namaste Nepalese Kitchen – Roti – Flat Bread by Keshav Rupakheti
Namaste Nepalese Kitchen – Achar by Jennifer Walsh-Rupakheti
Namaste Nepalese Kitchen – Khir by Jennifer Walsh-Rupakheti
Namaste Nepalese Kitchen – Jaulo by Jennifer Walsh-Rupakheti



Mindful Eating by Emma Docherty

MindfulEating

Mindful Eating

by Emma Docherty

It’s no secret that nutrition and yoga go hand in hand, so when Jill Hogan organised the “Food for thought” workshop with the wonderfully inspirational Swami Purnananda Puri, signing up was a no­brainer.

A beautiful morning set the scene for the weekend ahead. As sunlight streamed through the windows into the Namaste yoga room, the Swami greeted everyone entering with a welcoming smile and handed us a self­questionnaire to complete.

I can safely say I was one of many who looked for the extra writing space when I saw the first question on the form; “What are your stresses in life?” .
I filled in the questionnaire, easily ruffled by self­criticism. Sure, I am a healthy eater but I also love wine, chocolate, cheese, and probably too much salt. On top of that, I snack. I don’t “graze” on almonds, I snack on things that give me a 5 minute delight followed by 3 hours of guilt. “​Okay, after this square I’ll have no more chocolate for the rest of the month.”​Wait, didn’t I say the same thing last Sunday?

The Swami’s talk addressed all of these things and more. He roamed through the various topics of nutrition, stress, hydration, snacking, food groups, and more; touching on each with an array of science, humour, and philosophy that reminded me in spite of our mischievous diet at times, we are only human and we all do bad things from time to time like comfort eat, drink a bit too much, and so on. The talk encouraged us to listen to our bodies and learn to understand and respect our food in order to keep our bodies (our vessels) healthy and strong while we are here on this planet. Beautiful.

Following the talk we worked through a series of Pranayamas and Asanas; all aimed at promoting a healthier digestive system. With each Pranayama and Asana, the Swami gave a full explanation of the benefits and for what ailments they could help alleviate. Although the yoga was slow paced, it was thorough and tough. There was plenty of time to stabilise in each pose, breathe and push farther; and if you didn’t push, you can be sure that the Swami pushed you further if he thought you could go the distance.

Ending the practice with closing talk, I left the workshop feeling light and lifted. Swami Purnananda has a power with his words that can invoke thoughts in your mind for days. One of the main takeaways for me was the consideration of not the food itself that I consume, but the surroundings in which I consume. We spend so much of our time rush eating, doing 3 things at once, watching violent tv shows or news reports at dinner time. All these things create imbalance for our energy body.

Eat all the salads and quinoa you like, but if you do it with misaligned energy, then the benefit in what you eat is lost. Instead, let’s put mindfulness into our food. Let’s make a controlled effort to focus our thoughts and intentions to the food that we grow, buy, prepare, cook and eat. Enjoy the time that you have to sit down with friends and family for a meal. Pay attention to the flavours that you are tasting and give thanks to Mother Earth for blessing us with such wonderful nutritious foods.

From all the attendees, a huge thank you to Namaste, Jill and Swami Purnananda for this workshop!


My Womb and Me

Mayella Womb Blessing

My Womb and Me

By Mayella Almazan

I saw on Facebook somewhere that this week (Nov 1-8) is Womb Awareness Week.
When I googled it up I realised it sadly seems to be only a small movement by some colleagues trying to spread the word. More interestingly, as I typed the word on Google for the search, I saw that for the UK-based search engine, the most popular word search following the word WOMB is not AWARENESS, but CANCER (see atttached screenshot).This made me think back to the first time I came to be aware of my womb.
As a Mexican woman raised in a large extended family, I was never far away from pregnant women, women who had just given birth and women wanting to get pregnant (not always succesfully, may I add).
Pregnancy and labour were not unusual topics of table talk at family gatherings, however, the real interesting conversations came later, when all women withdrew to the kitchen after the meal. Away from the men, the talk turned to deeper ever so much more interesting issues for a 6-year-old: infertility, painful periods, hysterectomies, miscarriages, a huge world of emotions and things that united all of the women in my family through pain and loss but also through love.
My Grandma -and later on when she passed away my aunties and my Mum too- always had a herbal tea blend to share to ease menstrual cramps, a sobada (massage) to offer to the grieving cousin or niece, so on the whole I can say even as I child I was acutely aware of wombs. Eventually, my own period arrived as a calm, easy going affair. Nothing worth paying too much attention to. All was perfect until I left my homeland, that is.
I started to be painfully aware of my womb during my periods soon after I moved to London to study a Master´s degree. By chance, after a birthday call to the eldest of my Aunties I mentioned it to her and she told me she was not suprised. “The cold of homesickness has got into your womb, child”, she told me.
I had heard of “the cold” being a very bad thing to get anywhere inside your body many a times at home. She then went on to add, “nothing like a bit of flowers in some steam to warm you up, take you back to your centre again, bring you back home. Oh, and you mustn´t forget the oregano.”  She was talking about the “bajos”, an ancient Mayan practice whereby a herbal mix is prepared and infused to steam our reproductive organs through our vagina (picture of herbal blend attached). I did as I was told and things soon not only went back to normal but the aroma of the oregano during the steam session REALLY took me back to the Mexican fields up the mountains where it grows wild.
This was the first time that I became aware of the fact that WOMBS are not just places for holding and carrying babies (although they are of course that too! ), but also places where we can store grief and homesickness. As a therapist now, I see clearly how storing all of these in our womb can at times mean trouble for some.
Since those days, I have made it my mission to guide women who have not been as lucky as me growing up in the family I did to discover the treasure of information, joy, pleasure and power contained within our womb. To be aware of their wombs, not because of cancer, or because of the fact that there is a baby in there (or there is not), or because of dis-ease, but simply because our womb is our centre. Because our womb is our home. And who doesn´t love going home ?
If you wish to become more aware of your womb-home, please contact Mayella  07899771696

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