Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Quick Practice for Joy and Self Love

How do we open the space in our hearts and minds for self-love? 

Here is a quick practice for calling on compassion for the self and muting the inner meanie:

Singing along with any mantra will bring you into a more positive place, but Kundalini Yoga offers a gorgeous English mantra that really clearly and directly builds self-love: Beautiful Am I, Bountiful Am I, Blissful Am I.” 

The three musical renditions of this mantra that I love best are: "Beautiful Am I" oAykanna’s Livelight; “Bountiful, Beautiful, Blissful” on Harnam Singh’s A Fearless Heart; and “Bountiful, Blissful, Beautiful” on Bachan Kaur’s Angels in the Amrit.

Just play them, sing along, enjoy, and believe.

Please read additional posts on Kundalini and Meditation:  

My favorite Meditation for Self-Healing by Yogi Bhajan

Breathing exercise to overcome all of your physical shortcomings

Also try Bliss Meditation

Sat Nam!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Weight Loss Yogi Tea

Said by Yogi Bhajan to dissolve fat tissue, drinking 2-3 glasses of this tea a day also cleanses the colon and brings Vitamin C to the skin.  

Black salt, found in specialty markets and Asian groceries, may even help prevent cancer!

This yogi recipe for weight loss will support your journey to health and fitness, mind, body and spirit!
This recipe is excerpted from "Kundalini Yoga" by Shakta Kaur Khalsa.

Try the following posts to help with detox and weight loss:

Yoga practice to increase abdominal fire, reduce fat and purify the entire system of toxins

Kundalini Yoga for Weight Loss Tea

4 lemons, quartered
1/2 tbl. black pepper

3 qt. water
Combine all ingredients in a pot and bring to boil. 

Lower heat and cook covered at low boil for several hours. This is necessary to draw the extract from the cumin seeds.  Replace water if it begins to evaporate.

Strain and serve hot or cold.  Makes 2 1/2-3 quarts.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Easy Healthy Dark Chocolate Truffles

Most of us eat chocolate for our taste bud pleasure, but there are actually many wonderful benefits to eating chocolate. The type of chocolate you are eating is very important. Health benefits lie in the cocoa itself, so the higher the cocoa content the better.

Probably the most health-promoting way to include cocoa into your diet is to use 100% cocoa powder. Lacking the sugar content of chocolate it will certainly not be as sweet but it is the way to get the most cocoa content.

In this way those who choose not to eat sugar can enjoy the health benefits. Unsweetened cocoa powder can be drunk as hot chocolate or added to smoothies.

It is generally recommended that chocolate eaten for health benefits should have a minimum cocoa content of 70%. Fine dark chocolate bars will list the cocoa content clearly on the front label.

The commercial milk chocolate is not going to produce the health benefits of rich dark chocolate. I always look for organic chocolate that has been certified fair trade as well.
Cocoa is often touted as an aphrodisiac and scientific studies show this to be true. One reason for this may be because it increases the amount of serotonin in the brain, helping to improve mood, sleep and other regulatory functions. Furthermore, cocoa is nutrient dense, including amounts of calcium, magnesium and potassium, folic acid, B2, and B6.  Being well nourished and in a good mood can open the door to amorous activities.

The following recipe attempts to use only small amounts of sugar and also incorporates other herbs into the mix. There are really so many possibilities for making your own herbal truffles. I hope this recipe gets you started on your own chocolate adventure.

Herbal Dark Chocolate Truffles
For this recipe you will need…

Begin by chopping or pounding the chocolate into pea size pieces. Place this into a medium sized bowl along with the vanilla, powdered cinnamon and nutmeg.
Warm the cream (or coconut milk) slowly until just before it starts to simmer. Pour this immediately into the bowl with chocolate.
Let this stand for one minute and then stir with a whisk until the chocolate is melted and it has a smooth consistency.
Note: Most of the time, when I make these, this process works great. One or two times I didn't make the chocolate pieces small enough and it didn't fully melt with the cream. When this happened I placed the chocolate in a double boiler and heated it slowly until the chocolate melted.
Once you have the truffle sauce it needs to cool to a semi-hard consistency. I don’t have a foolproof method for this. I suggest keeping it in the fridge or freezer and checking it frequently. It needs to be soft enough to form into a ball, yet hard enough to roll without falling apart.
Once the desired consistency is reached you can start rolling. Scoop the mixture into bite sized pieces and, using clean hands, roll into a ball.
Once they are all rolled I suggest rolling them in a powder. I think it’s nice to have a variety of powders within a single batch. I suggest playing around with the following
Many powdered herbs can be used in this recipe. Gingercayenne, rose are just a few ideas.

Orange zest – can be added to the truffles themselves or even used to roll the truffles in.
Coconut – to roll the truffles in.
Baking extracts come in all sorts of flavors and can be added here (mint, coffee, orange, etc)

You can infuse a variety of herbs into the warmed cream to impart different flavors.

Earl Grey – Heat the cream and add a few teabags of earl grey. Let sit for five minutes, remove tea bags, heat the cream again and then proceed as per normal. You may need to add a bit more cream to this.
Lavender – add 2 teaspoons of lavender to the warmed cream. Let sit five minutes, strain off the lavender, reheat and then proceed.
As you can see this is just the beginning of finding your own favorite truffle recipe.