Giving The Gift of Happiness

The traditional Christmas practice of giving gifts is a wonderful, open-hearted gesture of affection and gratitude which hopefully invokes warm and fuzzy feelings in both the giver and the receiver. That is, I hear you say, as long as the credit card isn’t maxed to buy it and as long as it’s not seen as a burdensome obligation. Ahh yes it can all get a little distorted can’t it! But in general, if we can afford it and we are not feeling obliged to give a gift, it’s a lovely thing to do. However,

Read more ...

Festive Filo Pie

On Christmas day as I cook the meal of all meals, and before I sit around the table with family and friends, I like to spend a little time in contemplation on Lord Jesus, offering for him to enjoy the feast before we do.  I often think at Christmas time that it would be nice to be sharing the sort of food that Christ might have eaten, with the rich Middle Eastern flavours of his area. So here’s a recipe with Middle Eastern type flavouring to share with your friends and family at Christmas.

Read more ...

Simple Mudras for Meditation

A hand mudra is a gesture usually used in meditation practices to help direct the energy towards the brain. Because each of the fingers are said to symbolise certain aspects of existence, stimulating them will have a subtle effect in these areas. The thumb is said to represent the Supreme Soul and the first finger represents the individual soul. Making a circle by joining the first finger and thumb, therefore, represents the union of the individual soul with the Supreme. Both Jnana and Chin mudras

Read more ...

Sun Salute Sequence

To gain maximum benefit for the nervous system and the breath we can work the Salute Sequence in such a way that we prepare for deep slow breathing and then send the deep slow breath to all parts of the body while increasing our energy levels and soothing our nervous system at the same time. Start you Salutes with one breath per pose and go through the sequence at least twice like this. This will help to warm up your muscles, open up your joints and prepare the chest and diaphragm for some

Read more ...

De-stress with Yoga Breathing

Recently a friend confided that he found so many things in life irritating, and his list was extensive. Dripping taps, doors creaking, loud noises, and the list went on and on. The thought struck me to check his breathing and sure enough he belongs to the school of exclusive upper chest breathers. Not an exclusive school it should be noted, most people fall into this category of shallow breathing for one reason or another. Some are so locked up in the lower lungs/chest that all they can

Read more ...

Haloumi + Quinoa Salad

Now that the weather is warming up, it’s time to bust out the salads! As our focus this month is on relaxation, I have chosen some foods with ingredients that are known to encourage our relaxation response. Haloumi contains tryptophan which helps us to produce serotonin which is a nerve relaxant. Avocado contains potassium which is a powerful stress buster helping to reduce the effects of adrenaline and cortisol. Asparagus is rich in B vitamins which are essential for calming

Read more ...

Just in Time for Summer: Vegan Hot Dogs

Summer is just around the corner which means outside is a good place to be! Picnics and barbecues abound, but what to take if you’re vegetarian? These delicious, vegetarian hot dogs can be cooked on the barbecue and eaten in a roll with your usual favourite sauces and salad. Or, they are equally as nice fried or baked at home. Feel free to change up the spices to suit your tastes preference. You might prefer a spicier version or maybe you like a smoky flavour. The main ingredients

Read more ...

Taking Your Asanas Outdoors

Isn’t it lovely that the weather is warming up! In Queensland we have a wonderfully mild winter, and the hardy souls only usually drop swimming for a couple of months if that! Not being very much of a hardy soul I love it when there is a warmth to the atmosphere, while the breeze is gentle and caressing, just before the sun reaches that harsh glare of summer …. It’s the perfect time to take our mat outside and head to the beach. Asanas down by the sea have a wonderfully

Read more ...

Springtime Refresh with Yoga

Spring is seen as a time to detox; of cleansing away the excesses of winter comfort foods and helping the body reach new heights of energy and freshness. Actually the body is detoxing all the time. That is the liver’s job. However with some simple additions to our health regime we can assist our hard working liver in its tireless toils. Yoga can address the liver’s function in a couple of ways. Firstly if we sit for long periods of time we tend to lose our good posture and round

Read more ...

Swing into Spring with Superfoods

As winter casts off its cloak of comfort foods to the fresh beginnings of spring we can add the wonderful spring vegetables to our diet like fresh greens and broccoli. Broccoli is a versatile healthy food which lends itself perfectly to cooked veggie dishes, raw salads and even detox health drinks. Its many health benefits make it a great choice for all seasons, however broccoli’s main call to springtime fame is its lightness (low in calories) and high nutrient value. It is reputed to

Read more ...

Laddu

Because this month is the yoga festive season celebrating the birth of Krishna, of course this month’s recipe has got to be an incredibly yummy exotic sweet that Krishna likes to eat.   There’s a song written by the great saint Bhaktivinode Thakur that describes and lists all the varieties of food that Krishna is offered. Here are some of the sweets that He eats: Sweets made with milk, sugar and sesame, rice flour cakes; thick cooked-down milk; cakes floating in milk; and sweet rice.

Read more ...

Are Yoga Asanas Spiritual?

One time a student asked, ‘How can I spiritualise my yoga asana practice? Are yoga asanas and pranayam intrinsically spiritual?’ Yoga asanas are not intrinsically spiritual, but they can be. There are many reasons people take to a yoga practice these days. It is well known that asanas help us care for our joints, muscles, bones and nervous system; not to mention our digestion, heart rate and energy levels.  These are all physical benefits of asanas, and used as such these yoga

Read more ...

Mexican Spiced Tomato Soup

This soup recipe has evolved over many years to make it so scrumptiously nutritious. It’s a great soup for cold weather, so try it as you cosily warm your hands on the soup bowl and enjoy its wintery goodness. Ingredients (serves 4) 2 Tbs olive oil 2 onions chopped 2 ½ tsp Mexican seasoning (Taco seasoning) 3 cloves garlic 130g tin tomato paste 1 ½ c red split lentils 6 c vege stock 2 Tbsp soft brown sugar 1

Read more ...

Boost Your Immunity with Yoga

You always know winter’s here when people start getting sick! In fact my son and his family are wading their way through a stomach flu while my daughter and her family are immersed in a heavy cold. Ahh the glories of winter when all the germs seem to take hold, defeating our immune systems and crippling whole families. What to do apart from the prop-ourselves-up cold and flu tablets that some swear by? As they say prevention is better than a cure, and it’s a lot less trouble too. Often

Read more ...

Kapalbhati Breathing

As the weather cools down for the winter months we can use this breath to help warm us up. It also keeps us alert and lifts our energy. Although the strong version is not recommended for people with heart problems, high blood pressure, hernias, reflux or if they are pregnant or menstruating the easier version is a wonderful choice for all. Easy version 1 – this is very beneficial for calming the mind and nervous system and can be practiced by everyone. Sit comfortably

Read more ...

Celebrating All Things Yoga

Life is full of ups and downs. Let yoga be one of your ups! Yoga in all of its variety of practices including asana, pranayama, relaxation and meditation is such a healthy thing to do and when we are glowing with yoga health we feel great and ready for the world. While many yoga books and teachers make wild claims about the benefits of yoga over the years many reputable studies have been carried out which tend to corroborate many of these claims. Conclusions have been drawn that yoga asanas

Read more ...

Baked Tofu

In winter we love to eat warming baked food. So while you are baking your potatoes and pumpkins pop some tofu in the over too and you’ve got a great meal. If you’ve ever tried to eat tofu without adding some sort of flavouring you will wonder why people ever bother, but add a sauce and you’ve got a nice addition to a meal. This recipe coats the tofu in tasty peanut butter sauce which soaks into the tofu as you bake it and makes a flavoursome dish. Ingredients 1

Read more ...

How To Give Her What She Really Wants

5 Ways to Show Mum You Love Her This Mothers Day! Being a mother myself, I like to think that I have some pretty good insights in to what mums really love. You don’t need to go spending lots of money to make her happy (although shoes and bags will never disappoint!). What all mothers crave is downtime. Time where MUM gets cared for, and has a break from doing the caring. A little bit goes a long way for a woman – just one day of spoiling mum can keep her going all year long! Try

Read more ...

Winter Deep Peace Retreat

Cosy up around the fire, relax and savour the tranquility at the July Deep Peace Retreat.  On this one day retreat  you can experience a deep rejuvenation as you release layers and layers of  tension. Out in the  rolling hills of the Bilambil country side, just 15 minutes from Coolangatta airport our hosts Maladhar dasi and Saratbihari das have artistically woven a beautiful retreat centre that equals anything you’d

Read more ...