Tuesday, 18 March 2014

MEDITATION FOR KIDS by Mind Body Green

1. Listen! Bell Meditation -  Invite kids to sit up tall in “criss-cross applesauce” and let their eyes close. Ring a bell or singing bowl, and ask kids to use their sense of hearing to explore the sound. Ask them to listen very carefully, and as soon as they hear it stop, raise their hand. They can then practice attentive listening without the bell. Close your eyes and listen to the sounds in your space.  Which are closest to you? Which are far away? Which to the left, or right? You can also try this meditation while walking down the street or lying in bed before falling asleep. (Thanks to Little Flower Yoga for the bell tip!)
2. Sing! Relaxation Song - This meditation combines song with touch and brings even the youngest of kids to a place of peace. Invite kids to sit up tall. Sometimes we sing the syllables Sa Ta Na Ma, or sometimes an English affirmation like “I Am Strong.” With each syllable, touch a different finger to your thumb, starting with the pointer finger and moving to the pinky. We practice singing, whispering, and singing quietly to ourselves in our minds. This is a self-soothing exercise and can be 
done discretely anywhere kids want to calm down, from the train to the classroom desk to the dinner table.
3. Breathe! Take Five Breath - Your breath is always with you. Learning to check in to it from an early age is a major tool. Try “take 5 breath” where you inhale for five, and exhale for five. Use your fingers to count as you breathe. Slowing your breath will slow down your mind. Can you feel your heart rise and fall as you breathe? Can you feel the breath enter and leave your nose?

4. Watch! Cloud Gazing -
  Sitting quietly, pay attention to your inhale and exhale. When thoughts or feelings come up, think of them like clouds passing through your mind, which is like the sky. You can watch the clouds come and go just like you can watch clouds in the sky move and shift in their shapes. Kids may not sit too long, but just introducing this concept is a great preparation for adult meditation. And the awareness that things are always changing and things do pass is important to share and practice observing with kids.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

YIN YOGA





Have you had a long week? Do you need more energy? Then maybe you should try practicing Yin yoga.

Yin yoga compliments Yang yoga (dynamic style). Yin and Yang represent male and female aspects of yoga. Yin yoga is slow and meditative and is used to focus on our joints instead of our muscles. To get deep into the tissues and fibres.

There are very few standing poses in Yin yoga so the positions focus on stillness and relaxing into them.

We start with a warm up and then mindfully move into different positions which last at least 5 minutes (in some classes they can last up to 20). Beginners to Yin can find the class quite a challenge for the mind as well as the body. The mind can become restless when the body is holding a pose for a period of time so the challenge is often keeping the mind under control by focussing on the breath and the subtle nuances of the pose, the sensations in the body as they arise. 
However as we begin to master Yin yoga and practice it more regularly we will find that it will have a profound effect on our dynamic Yang practice. 
Props and bolsters to support the body can also help to facilitate a stronger, longer held stretch and ensure that it isn’t painful to hold for an extended length of time.

A Yin class, like all others ends with savasana, students can experience a profound sense of silence and deep inner stillness when deeply rooted in their bodies, connected to our own breath. We begin to take control of our thoughts and learn not to judge and become distracted by each morsel of chatter that the brain throws at us. We learn to come back to the breath time and time again.

Students should find that at the end of their Yin practice they leave their mat feeling calm and relaxed, strong and energised both in the body and the mind.


Friday, 7 March 2014

GLUTEN FREE CARROT CAKE


5 eggs, at room temperature
1½ cups (265g) brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup (125ml) sunflower oil
31/2 cups (440g) almond meal (ground almonds)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4  teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking powder
400g  carrots, peeled and grated1 cup 
(75g)  shredded coconut
1//4cup (70g) roasted slivered almond
1/2  cup (80g) currants

cream cheese icing

250g cream cheese, chopped
 ⅓ cup (55g) icing (confectioner’s) sugar mixture, sifted 
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

GREEN BEAN CURRY WITH PEAS & CASHEWS

Green Bean Curry with Peas and Cashews

Green Bean Curry with Peas and Cashews
Serves 4
Frozen green beans and peas are simmered and then sautéed with a prepared Indian curry paste for a spicy dish that can be served on its own or with warmed naan bread or steamed rice.
  • ½ cup raisins
  • 2 Tbs. mild Indian curry paste, such as Patak’s
  • 4 cups frozen green beans
  • 2 cups frozen peas
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped roasted unsalted cashews
1. Place raisins in measuring cup, and cover with enough boiling water to make 1 cup. Let stand 5 minutes. Drain, and reserve liquid.
2. Combine curry paste with 1/4 cup raisin-soaking liquid in large frying pan. Cook 1 minute over medium-high heat, or until curry paste darkens and becomes fragrant.
3. Add green beans, raisins, and remaining raisin-soaking liquid; cover skillet, and cook 2 minutes. Add peas, stir to coat vegetables with liquid, cover, and cook 2 minutes more, or until peas are mostly defrosted. Season with salt and pepper, if desired, and cook 3 to 4 minutes more, uncovered, or until skillet is dry and vegetables are bright green and tender. Serve sprinkled with cashews.

Friday, 6 December 2013

NELSON MANDELA July 18, 1918 - December 5, 2013

"No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite."
RIP
Nelson Mandela



Thursday, 7 November 2013

AUTUMN PUMPKIN & OKRA PASANDA


Ingredients

  • 1 large pumpkin (diced and oven roasted with garlic, salt and pepper)
  • 500g okra
  • fresh ginger (chopped)
  • garlic cloves (chopped)
  • red chilies (fresh, deseeded chopped)
  • 500g plain yogurt
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 large knob of butter
  • 2 large red onions (chopped)
  • 1 large garlic (crushed)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsps ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp salt/pepper to taste
  • 4tbsps ground almonds
  • 4 tbsps sliced almonds
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 bunch chopped fresh coriander
  • 300ml single cream
  • METHOD
  • Peel, de-seed and chop pumpkin in to bit size chunks
  • Roast in a hot oven until sizzling and beginning to brown but not cooked through
  • In a blender blitz chillies, garlic, ginger and yogurt until a smooth paste 
  • Heat butter in a heavy based pan and fry red onions and okra until they begin to brown on the edges. 
  • Add tumeric, cumin, grated nutmeg and chilli powder and fry for 2 minutes.
  • Add to roasted pumpkin
  • Then add the yogurt mixture stirring continuously add salt and black pepper to taste and can of coconut milk . Cover and simmer slowly for 40 - 60 minutes.
  • Finally add cream, stir in ground almonds garam masala and cook slowly for 4 more minutes
  • To serve sprinkle with sliced almonds paprika and stir in chopped fresh coriander

MY OLD MAN'S A YOGI