5:56PM

Welcome Back !

And this time from Goa !

Yes, the next phase of Ziya Yoga is in Goa, teaching yoga at the beautiful boutique resort Amarya Shmiyana, on a 3 metre sea facing stage. Although I cannot but miss the energy at the first Ziya Yoga studio in Delhi, made entirely by you my students, this is indeed a beautiful introspective shift.

It's almost been a seasonal break, with much happening and radical life changes, mountains have moved since the last journal entry.

The end of a phase and the beginning of the rest of my life. True love found, puzzles solved, riddles answered, how every single thing in my life has led up to the point where two souls have found each other.

An old knee injury relapsed in an obnoxiously painful way left me bedridden for almost two months. It is still healing but I can teach. Through all this my students did not give up on me and I have kept teaching, using mostly just one side of my body during the class, I would personally like to thank Each One of You all from the bottom of my heart.

 

My students just before I left : Bandana Malhotra, Renu Garg, Malay Pal, Mithu Pal, Shahar Tamuz, Beatrice Tamuz, Yasmine M, Wendy E, Christian W, Silvia I, Zich Z, Shahla, Garima, Oliver and Marcelle all of you are GEMS. You have taught me so much just by being present in my class, and allowed me so much growth. Thank you for letting me share my knowledge with you, and teaching me so much in return.

You are all missed very much.

 

Also I would like to sincerely thank all the students I have taught since February 2010 until now, even those who have stepped in just for a trial class. These include in Alphabetical order : Amit Kapur, Amreen, Anand, Ashima, Gaurav, Gita, Henna, Ishani, Jabeen, Jacek, Jyoti, Karan, Karishma, Madhulika, Mala, Manisha, Manjula, Nakul, Nootan, Paridhi, Preeti, Rachita, Radhika, Reetu N, Renu Lal, Saroj, Shahana, Shannon, Shubhra, Sofia, Sophia, Stefano. 

A huge special thanks goes out to Dillinet and the Dillinet crew for the support.

If I have missed out anyone, I apologize, your energies are all close to me.

 

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All that having been said, please keep track of newsletters coming to your through facebook or into your inbox.

 

1:04AM

Practicing Yoga in Daily Life.


"Take the physical practice of yoga outside of the studio, into your daily life." Something I say to my yoga students often.

The physical practice of Yoga does not end at the confines of the studio space, it is something one can incorporate into daily life.  5 simple ways to start :

1 Take that tall and straight yoga standing posture out with you. Keep your head held high, face soft, a smile on your face and shoulders pushed slightly back. It will make you an inch taller and you will radiate confidence. You will breathe freely, attract good stuff towards yourself and exude positivity. Small changes in your body will make big changes in your life.

2 Every now and then switch off from the world around you and move your focus to your breath. During a chaotic moment in the day, or a moment of anger and distress towards someone you dislike, or a boring meeting, snap out of thoughts and distractions and feel and observe your breath flowing in and out through your nostrils. Try to listen hard to the sound of your natural breath. Just for a few moments. Trust me, the noises around you will fade. When you snap back to the world around you, things will be calmer and clearer, and you will be more aware.

3 Turn normal activities into yoga stretches and include the breath practice into it. It might sound funny, but for example when reaching out for something on a high shelf, breathe in deeply and make it a stretch, when you reach down to pick up something you've dropped on the floor, make it into a forward bend and breathe out into a stretch. It starts to come naturally and mundane tasks become yoga. Life becomes a dance.

4 Practice awareness and become and observer to your daily activities, just every now and then. Switch off from simply 'doing', and instead switch to 'being' the observer to the doing. For example, when you're rushing to make your morning cup of tea or coffee tomorrow tell yourself : "Now I am rushing to make my coffee. I'm pulling out a cup from the shelf. I've just switched on my water boiler. I'm pouring the coffee into my cup. I'd better slow down else I'm going to burn my tongue." Observe every step of what you do. It will slow you down a bit, and heighten your sense of awareness of the world. Try it out, it's fun.

5 If you lead a sedentary lifestyle, put your yoga knowledge into practice every now and then. Start by putting a reminder every hour for it.  When the alarm goes off, stretch your arms up, correct your posture, make your back straight. Roll your shoulders back and forward, do a few neck exercises to release the stress. Crack your fingers, you've been typing and texting too much. Then close your eyes away from the computer screen for a few seconds and count upto 12 breaths before you open up your eyes. Reboot.

These are just a few things you can do. As you deepen your practice, you'll notice that you're incorporating a lot of these automatically into daily life. Yes, people may around you may laugh at you in the start, but when you begin to radiate brilliance, the same people may get a bit blinded by your light, and will want to follow suit.

10:14PM

Ease Your Body, Clear Your Mind

Quoted from the Yoga Journal Newsletter, Daily Insight. It's so relevant, I had to share:

Undoubtedly, you come to hatha yoga to work with the physical postures, for that is the very definition of the practice. But why do you choose to work with the body? Is yoga a time-out from the rest of your life? Is it a kind of body-repair shop, as though your body was an automobile? Do you direct the body to yoga class because its health is necessary for the mind's well-being? Do you come to challenge the body because doing so stimulates your mind?

In your practice today, when you correct the position of your body in poses, remember to check in with your mind as well. If it has strayed from the practice, bring it back. Each time you do this, it will bring you closer to center, ease, and balance.

 

4:07PM

Keep your Cool and Beat the Heat. 

Summer's officially here. The mercury's rising by the day, tempers are more likely to be thrown around, road rage will soon be rampant again, and a lot of people will be seen with fire coming out of their ears. The food we eat plays a big role in this. Here are some Cooling Summer Foods, to keep your body cool and light, your mind refreshed and relaxed. And also, foods to avoid like the plague.

 

1 Cucumber. I have copious amounts of this in the summer. It's a perfect summer food, it contains a lot of water, and has an instant cooling effect on the body. There are tons of delicious salads possible with this, but i love having it with just a dash of lime and rock salt. Cucumber is also excellent for the skin, both in the consumed form or applied externally. Rub a slice of cucumber on your face and eyes before you sleep or anytime in the day. It keeps the skin soft, prevents acne and eczema and cools down the skin surface.

 

 

2 Yoghurt (Dahi). Fresh Yoghurt served at room temperature has a hoard of other benefits apart from just keeping your body cool. It is a  miracle food containing powerful microbes that can protect you from invasive cells, bolster you immune system, and prevent heart disease ; lowers your cholesterol levels, and keeps your bones strong. Have a cup of yoghurt daily this summer - or in the form of lassi or chaas.
 

 


3 Lettuce + Onion. Make sure you have a bit of a lettuce and onion salad on the side with whatever you eat. Both contain water and both have an immensely cooling effect on the body. The health benefits of onions are endless because of its powerful antiseptic and antibacterial properties

.Lettuce also is a great source of roughage and keeps the stomach light and clear.

 

 

4 Fresh Juicy Fruit. Watermelon, Mango, Litchis, Lemon all of these come to us in the summer for a reason. They hydrate our bodies, and are a treat for the taste buds. Have them at room temperature, because eating them chilled actually raises our body heat. No, Mango is NOT fattening. Read this to gorge on mangoes, guilt free. You can also have them in juice form. Lemon Juice with salt and sugar, had every day in the summer also replenishes the salts we lose from our bodies and keeps us fresh.

 

 

5 Bittergourd (Karela). Yes, as disgusting as this might taste, Bittergourd has unbelievable benefits in cooling the body down, even if you consume heat inducing foods. It cleass the blood, keeps any kind of skin problem far away, and increases stamina and energy. A small glass of bittergourd juice gulped down first thing in the morning actually makes the rest of your day much sweeter for more reasons than one. You can buy premade bittergourd juice at any of the GNC outlets around the city - or even in powder form. Or you can try to make it yourself. So just close your eyes, hold your breath, and gulp it down like a medicine.

 

 

6 Spices and chillies actually cool the body down. Having a small amount of these, without mixing them with oil, will make you sweat and in turn keep your body temperatures down. But you will also lose water and salts from the body. So  dont forget to constantly hydrate yourself with drinking lots of water in the summer.

 

 

7 Water. Always keep a bottle with you, your body will stay cool. Summer offers you a great opportunity of losing weight, this is the time when your body does not require heavy food intake, you can take this opportunity get slimmer. 

 

 

 

What to avoid in the summer : Heavy oily foods, Meats, Heavy spices, Beer and alcohol (yes these actually raise the temperature of the body, so try to have cooling cocktails instead of stiff drinks), Ice cream (Sad but true, but ice cream actually does not cool the body down, it gives you a temporary sense of cooling down, but raises it up more than usual after a while - so have icecreams in moderation.)

The best summer diet solution would be to include large salads in your diet, onions are just great in summer, people of all hot countries in the world, include onion in their diets because of ability of onions to beat the heat and provide relief from summer ailments. Ideally your salads can contain onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, etc. with a dash of fresh lemon juice to add the tang, you can also include some mild spices and the salad will surely be a family favorite.

 


 

 

 

 

1:48AM

PRACTICING GRATITUDE

 

When was the last time you locked your hands together and closed your eyes and sent out a thank you to the higher intelligence inside of you? Folding your hands in prayer is not a religious act, you can be a complete non-believer and atheist, and still simply put your hands together.

When you're putting your hands together you are locking the left and right side of your brain through your heart. You're joining the ying and yang of yourself through love. You are bringing the male and the female energies, the logic and random inside yourself in one lock.

The higher force is not a force outiside of us ! It is a a force inside us, the higher intelligence that exists inside each one of us. This is what we summon in this act.

If you're reading this before you're about to sleep tonight, just lock your hands together for a moment. Do you feel your pulse inside your hands? This is the great magical device inside you, called the heart. Then take a deep breath, close your eyes and let your mind travel to 10 simple things you are grateful for today.

It could be simple things such as the sun that shone today, the bed on which you are asleep, or the blanket that covers you today or the food that you ate or a person you met today.

This is how I usually say it in my mind, to myself.

Thank you for the bed on which I lie tonight.

Thank you for the roof on my head and my healthy family.

Thank you for the food I ate today.

(and so on and so forth.)

When I finish, I ask the forces inside me to send the same fortune to the anyone else who needs it.

Practicing gratitude draws even more to your life to be grateful about. The cycle continues.

In Yoga, the act of putting your hands together is in the form of Anjali Mudra, as shown here, connecting the male and female energies close to your heart.  Try it once, it won't kill you. Send out a thank you to yourself for being alive and kicking. Then send a prayer out to those who need it and to those you love. And if you listen very carefully, you'll feel your heart in your fingertips.