Happy 2021

Whew, what a year 2020 has been!!!

Finally it’s on its way out teaching us some really harsh but necessary lessons.

The most important one being that we all have infinite reserves of inner strength that can see us through challenging times.

Let me begin by saying a prayer for the millions lives lost this year. May you be at peace wherever you are.

A huge gratitude to God and all of God’s helpers with their selfless service and who made life breathable for many of us- So grateful to be alive.

Having said that I know what I would like my 2021 to be like. For one, I don’t want to plan anything in the coming year. I just want to be able to live each day of my life fully, without fear, with lots of gratitude and in the knowledge that whatever is meant for me will make its way towards me and I want to welcome that with open arms, open heart and an open mind.

Wishing you all a wonderful & happy 2021. May you Live and Give Lovingly.

Good health, Peace and Prosperity wished to all of you

Madhavi ❤

Aligning your Chakras- with meditation and food.

chakra1 

 Most people have heard of chakras – the energy centers of the body. Although there are actually 114 in the body, many of us know of only seven.

Chakra is a Sanskrit word meaning a “plexus,” “wheel,” or “vortex.”

Along with these energy centers are the ‘nadis’ –or energy channels through which prana or vital life force moves.

When the nadis meet at different points in the body, they form a chakra. Chakras are responsible for of taking in, incorporating and emanating energy to keep us functioning at optimal levels.

When a chakra is out of balance or blocked it starts affecting your health, both physically and emotionally. And on the other hand, if we endeavor to work on our physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health, we can promote the flow of energy through our chakras with ease.

Yoga, reiki and any kind of physical activity greatly influence in strengthening and enhancing the flow of energy to our chakra systems. Clearing out the clutter from our lives, physically and emotionally, also helps to strengthen the flow of our energy. Forgiveness greatly enhances our energetic health, to bring back balance and promoting wellbeing on all levels.

However I find that along with yoga a brief stint with meditation is one of the best ways to balance and harmonise these chakras.

I personally sit cross legged on the floor, my hands on my knees, palms facing upwards, joining the index finger to the thumb, and closing my eyes as I slowly breathe in and out, focusing and visualising the location and colour associated with each chakra, in my mind’s eye.
Starting at the root chakra and moving upward towards the crown chakra, allowing at least a couple of minutes to each chakra. However if you find this a little too overwhelming, you can always use a guided meditation available on You Tube to get you started. Don’t expect results immediately. Like everything else in life this too will take its time, and once you start meditation, it will definitely change your entire outlook on life.

chakra3

Below is a list of the major chakras and their basic properties.

Root Chakra – Muladhara.

Muladhara is the root chakra; this root defines our relationship with Mother Earth. It influences our vitality and most importantly, our basic survival instincts and our sense of belonging. The Root Chakra is located at the base of your spine and is represented by the colour red, which is naturally associated with the element earth. To keep this chakra healthy, walking barefoot on the floor or in a garden allows you to connect to earth and keeps you grounded. Add some root vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, turnips and food that are red in colour- pomegranates, cherry, watermelon, beetroots in your diet.

Sacral Chakra – Svadhistana.

The Sacral Chakra, or the Swadhisthana Chakra, is symbolic of the water elements present within the human body. It influences our desires, sexuality, creativity and our reproductive functions. Located two inches below the navel it is represented by the colour orange. To keep your chakras in balance include foods such as honey, sweet potatoes, carrots, oranges, mangoes and papayas.

Solar Plexus Chakra – Manipura.

The Solar Plexus Chakra or the Manipura Chakra is regarded as one of the most powerful chakras that have profound influences on our personal power. Representing our personal abilities and powers, it influences both our personal and professional success. Located in the stomach, the colour associated with this chakra is yellow, and its natural element is fire, and this is where the “fire in your belly” term derives from. Include foods of yellow colour such as squash, pineapple, bananas, turmeric, yellow peppers, pumpkin, and lemon.

Heart Chakra – Anahata.

The Heart Chakra, also known as the Anahata Chakra, is associated with the element of air within the body, and it has the most profound influence on our professional and personal relationships. This chakra relates to unconditional love. Located at the center of the heart, green is the colour of this chakra and it relates naturally to love and compassion. Being open to giving and receiving the love that is available to you, enhances the balance of this chakra. Include foods of green colour-leafy vegetables, cucumber, peas, broccoli, green apples, kiwi and avocado.

Throat Chakra – Vishuddha.

The Vishuddha Chakra or Throat Chakra symbolises our true inner voice, and our ability to listen, empathise and communicate with others. It is represented by the colour blue. When this chakra is flowing at optimum levels, you have the ability to ask for what you need. You also reflect your truth in the world through this chakra though your communication.  Include foods such as Jamun, blue berries, black currants, black grapes, mushrooms, herbal teas, coconut water.

Third Eye Chakra – Ajna.

Insight, intuition, awareness and guidance are the properties of this sixth chakra, located between the eyebrows. Located between your eyebrows, the natural colour of this chakra is indigo. Meditation and visualization exercises can assist the healthy flow of this chakra. Be open to your inner guidance and listen to your thoughts. Include foods such as eggplants, purple cabbage and carrots, black beans, olives, prunes, poppy seeds.

Crown Chakra – Sahasrara.

The Crown Chakra, known as the Sahasrara Chakra is connected with the element of light, and is the silence between the spaces and represents spiritual connection. Located at the crown of your head, it represents union, bliss, the knowledge of being at one with all. Cosmic consciousness and peace are the frequency at this chakra. It is the highest form of chakra, which opens up the spiritual communication completely with the universe. It’s often symbolised as a lotus flower blooming open. It is associated with violet or violet-white light. It is not associated with any type of food. In fact, it’s often suggested that fasting can stimulate the flow of the crown chakra. Quieting the body quietens the mind. Drink plenty of water, and practice daily meditation to fully integrate your spiritual, emotional, and physical health.

chakra2

Understanding the chakra system and its corresponding colours helps us see why eating a multi-coloured diet of natural foods can improve our emotional and physical health.

It is beneficial to meditate on the chakras for increased health of your energetic system. Some simple pranayam or breathing exercises  and visualizing your beautiful energy centers spinning in a healthy way  and being fully aware of all the seven chakras, will help you notice the improvements you can bring in your body, to stay mentally, emotionally and physically healthy.

 

-Madhavi

Disclaimer

***The views expressed in this article are of the writer***.

***It is not a miracle cure, nor do I propagate the use of these foods and or exercises/meditation ***

***Please consult a doctor if you have any conditions before starting any kind of exercise/meditation regime ***

*** Please use your discretion before starting any practise ***

 

 

OS:TOI;Isha;Hridayyoga
PC:Pinterest

 

Hello Summer

hello

Winter’s are on its way out. The onset of summer brings about mixed reactions from people. Some of us love summers, but some just can’t stand the heat.

Love it or hate it, but you’ve gotta accept that summer is the dominant season in our country. The most common thing we do in summers that that we crib about the garmi (heat).

But there are way too many things that make us look forward to the season.

The fruits, the various desi beverages and the mandatory summer vacations are all the reasons why the Indian summer is a much-awaited season.

Does nostalgia fill your hearts when you think of the good old orange bar that was the staple dessert after dinners. And those bottles of ‘Banta’- the popular drink across North India- a lemon based soda with the marble in neck of the bottle. Or those endless glasses of Lassi (Buttermilk), Rooh Afza (a rose based Sherbet), Shikanji (homemade Lemonade) which could bring you cool cool happiness?

While we love wearing cool breathable clothes, enjoying the seasonal summer fruits, late night movies, beach vacays, ice creams, cool beers and air conditioned rooms; summers can really make you cranky when the Sun God bears down on us relentlessly.

Known for its high temperatures and excessive humidity, summers are the best time to go in for a change in routine, a revamped diet, and a new exercise regimen that suits the weather.

Here’s what you can do to keep yourself prepared to bear the heat.

*Hydrate: The benefits of hydration are plentiful. Drinking the recommended eight to ten glasses of water a day can help prevent illness, keep your bones and muscles healthy, help you maintain your weight, improve brain function and best of all, fuel your activities throughout the day!

* Eat light and healthy: Your body will require a constant supply of water and fluids to sustain through the rough weather. Heavy meals with large amounts of carbohydrates and fats give rise to a lot of heat in the body. A natural way of staying hydrated is ample intake of fruits and vegetables that have high water content — oranges, watermelon, tomatoes, etc. This helps balance your core body temperature and keeps diseases at bay. It also helps hydrate the skin and keep it supple.

* Gear up for summer: Wearing light and breathable fabrics is an effective way to beat the heat. Natural fabrics such as cotton, silk, and linen are much better than synthetic fabrics. Remember to put comfort before fashion.

* Transform Activities into Exercise: Warm summer weather means that you can spend a lot of time outdoors being active. As sunlight is one of the best sources of Vitamin D, use this opportunity to exercise or eat outdoors in the morning. It is advisable to soak in the sun rays early in the morning, as this can be a great way of starting your day on a fresh and rejuvenating note.

*Stay Shady: We all love being outdoors in the sun but it is important to stay in the shade during the hours of noon to early evening as the sun is hottest at this time and excessive exposure causes the body to burn out, when the UV exposure is at its peak. If you are going to be outside, be sure to apply plenty of sunscreen 30 minutes before sun exposure. It is also a good idea to wear a hat and sunglasses whenever possible.

*Stay Cool: When it’s unbearable hot, do whatever you can to stay cool! Go swimming and try to stay indoors in an air-conditioned place.

* Most people suffer from ailments such as common cold, sore throats, and viral infections in summer because of the heat and dust. While a preventive care approach is imperative, being prepared to face an unexpected disease is equally important.

Unbearable, yes , but also lovely , provided you are sensitive to the needs of your own self in this season.

Stay healthy.

madhavi 

 

 

PC: Google images

Will ‘Meso-Dosing’ be 2019’s biggest wellness trend?

meso11 (2)

Do you remember when you were little and your ma insisted you to stay off the chips and eat your veggies?

Don’t we all know this by now, that if you take care of your body, your body will take care of you? Eating healthy foods is the best gift we are giving to our body, that slogs 24/7 to keep us healthy, help us live longer, heal infections, and improve our well being.

The emphasis on vitamins and minerals (read micronutrients) for getting optimal nutrition was passed down from every grandmother to a mother.

I grew up in a home where eating a healthy home cooked meal, very lovingly prepared by my ma and sometimes my grandma was normal. We never ordered a meal from a restaurant, it was always home cooked even for large gatherings.

So along with the usual freshly prepared hot meals a lot of emphasis at home was given to consuming raw fruits and veggies. We ate fruits according to the season it was available in. For instance watermelons, melons, mangoes were all eaten during summer. They helped keep our body cool and gave us the necessary minerals to wade of a host of skin infections.

Today, however times are different.

Due to globalization, many fruits that are seasonal in nature are available throughout the year to be enjoyed whenever we want. For example, living in Delhi I have never eaten a water melon in winters. Everyone knows that it’s a summer fruit meant to cool down your body temperature. So imagine how will it affect my body, if I eat it in on a cold December day? Well I don’t even need to spell it out for you.

What I am getting at is this -It takes all kinds of nutrients to make up a diet. From micro-nutrients like vitamins, minerals, amino acids and fatty acids, to macro-nutrients like carbs, proteins and fats, all of these have been focused on by dietitians, doctors and health aficionados alike, and their virtues extolled. And now, just when you think you’ve finally got it down, yet another type of nutrient pops up claiming to be the answer to improved well being. Enter the mesonutrient.

So what exactly is a mesonutrient?

Today’s tech savvy population doesn’t stop at super foods. They want to dig deeper and unearth the ‘super’ in super foods. Hence, the mesonutrient. A mesonutrient refers to the active compounds or antioxidants within the foods that make them so stellar for our health.

But, you know something?

You probably are already having some of the foods rich with mesonutrient and don’t even know about it.

Curcumin

Here’s one mesonutrient you’ve likely heard of! Turmeric has over 200 active compounds, and the key compound to watch out for is curcumin, which has anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory benefits.

Ask any Indian chef or mother and they will swear by Turmeric or ‘Haldi’ as we know it. We have been using it in most of our dals , curries, and so many other dishes. Why our ‘haldi ka doodh’ or turmeric milk, fed by our moms to heal our aches and pains is legendary, and something the rest of the world has just woken up to. YEAH,  I am talking about the celebrated ‘Turmeric Latte’ which the westerners are going gaga over!

Lycopene

Found in red foods like tomato and watermelon, lycopene has been found to help protect the skin from environmental damage, strengthen the bones and prevent against prostate, lung, and stomach cancers.

ECGC

Short for epigallocatechin gallate, ECGC is one of a group of plant phenols (also known as tannins) found in green tea that has been found to have the most powerful cancer-preventing benefits.

Anthocyanins

This antioxidant is found in naturally purple foods or often referred to as the nightshade foods, like in blackcurrants, blackberries and blueberries and purple sweet potatoes, as well as some red foods like cherries, pomegranates and cranberries. They have been linked to a wide variety of health claims, including cardiovascular health, increased longevity, cancer prevention and dementia.

Berberines

This mesonutrient is a little harder to come by, as they’re found in foods like golden seal and barberries. “What are those?” you may be wondering—Berberine is found in the roots and stem bark of many plants. This is one mesonutrient that may be worth seeking out in supplement form, as they’re thought to balance blood pressure and have remarkable anti-inflammatory properties.

Saffronal

Yep, you guessed it—this one is derived from the spice, saffron! It’s known for its antidepressant, appetite suppressing and libido-boosting benefits.

So what should you include in your diet on a daily basis
To refresh it up, you can use a pinch of turmeric in your curries or in your warm milk. You can also consume two cups of green tea every day. Include dark green veggies such as spinach, kale and Berries like blueberries and blackberries which are rich in anthocyanins, in your salads and smoothies.

And most importantly, do try to stay away from packaged, processed, junk foods or limit its consumption if you really have no choice. Go for natural organic foods rather than ones made in a factory.

Food fads come and go. All I know is that your health is a sum total of what you eat. Go ahead and increase your dose of mesonutrients and fuel up your gut instincts.

Like literally!

Say yes to health !!

madhavi

Time to Detox

detox

Post-festival is a tough time. You’ve indulged in eating and bingeing on all the heavy, fattening, high calorie foods. You’re sleep deprived, your skin lacks sheen, your hair feels like straw and for the best part of a week the healthiest thing you’ve eaten are probably the dry fruits. And now you are dreading to step on that weighing scale which you’ve casually hidden under your bathroom cabinet.

So how about some detox to clear up the toxins from your sluggish system. Detoxification is not only about elimination but also abstaining.

According to Ayurveda, short periods of fasting effectively remove toxins and gas from the body, help shed a little weight, clean the palate and improve mental clarity. Fasting also helps the body “desalt”, and balance the high amounts of salt that we end up eating on a daily basis and more so during festivals.

Returning back to reality after a festival can be a tad depressing. After all those late nights and long days you’re bound to feel pretty wiped. With the prospect of returning to work looming ahead make sure you give your energy levels a kick-start by eating the right kinds of post-festival foods. Keep yourself hydrated by having water, green tea or coconut water and avoiding packaged foods, sugary and baked goods.

Carrots, yogurt, spinach and broccoli keep your immune system bolstered and are packed full of antioxidants. Snack on bananas which are naturally high in sugars and eat regular, small meals to keep up your metabolic rate. Eating foods high in B vitamins and vitamin C, such as tomatoes, sunflower seeds and whole grain bread, help fire you up and power you through to the week.

Some form of physical activity such as gentle walks, a short run or yoga is sure to get your body chugging and start its own detox process.

Don’t forget to look after your skin. After the endless late nights spent with family and friends, a part of your post-festival detox should be to give your skin a rejuvenating pampering to help renew skin cells and improve your complexion.

Picking up a bug after a festival is the last thing you want to contend with. Try to protect yourself against getting sick by eating foods that help to strengthen your immune system.

Follow these easy tips and you are sure to give your body some rest to get back on the health wagon, until the next round of celebrations beginning at the end of the year!

Emotional Freedom Techniques

Do you know that your body has the ability to heal itself given the proper diet and nourishing surroundings?

Whenever I read or hear about any new technique of healing that does not use the traditional intake of popping pills I feel attracted to trying it out.

Alternate healing therapies can be used for many of the usual ailments, right from simple headaches to more serious ones like an autoimmune disorder.

Back in summer when I was holidaying with my sis in SFO, I saw her use a technique called Tapping. Now I had heard about it in fact I had even tried it out myself. Now she is an MD in Pediatric Dentistry, and when you see a medical professional use the therapy you start believing in its benefits.

So what exactly is tapping?

Tapping, also known as EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques), is a powerful holistic healing technique that has been proven to effectively resolve a range of issues, including stress, anxiety, phobias, emotional disorders, chronic pain, addiction, weight control, just to name a few.

Tapping therapy is based on the combined principles of ancient Chinese acupressure and modern psychology. It is a simple technique that works like emotional acupressure to quickly, gently and easily release the negative emotions and beliefs that are at the root of all our problems and pain.

Tapping with the fingertips on specific meridian endpoints of the body, while focusing on negative emotions or physical sensations, helps to calm the nervous system, rewire the brain to respond in healthier ways, and restore the body’s balance of energy.

Although there are about 8/9 tapping points on the body, I mainly use these 5;

TOH: On the top of the head or the crown. If you were to draw a line from one ear, over the head, to the other ear, and another line from your nose to the back of your neck, the TOH point is where those two lines would intersect.

 EB: At the beginning of the eyebrow, just above and the center of forehead.

 UE: On the bone under an eye about 1 inch below your pupil.

 CB: The junction where the sternum (breastbone), collarbone and the first rib meet. Ideally about an inch below the collarbone in the center of the chest

 UA: On the side of the body, about 4 inches below the armpit or Under the Arm.

You should use a firm but gentle pressure, as if you were drumming on the side of your desk. You can use all four fingers or just the first two (the index and middle fingers).

Tap with your fingertips, not your fingernails. The tapping order begins at the top and works down.

Tapping is simple and painless. It can be learned by anyone. And you can apply it to yourself, whenever you want, wherever you are. It’s less expensive and less time consuming. It gives you the power to heal yourself, putting control over your destiny back into your own hands.

With energy medicine you are teaching your body new habits and more effective ways to deal with the effects of stress.

At first, you may need to tap many times through the day – upon waking in the morning, around meal time (remember, this helps your metabolism) and whenever you feel your energies slump. As your system learns these new habits, it stabilizes and learns to reset on its own, so you may not have to tap as often.

Still, it’s like brushing your teeth – some sort of daily regimen is needed. Use your common sense and learn to listen to your body. When you need a quick pick-me-up, this quick routine will give you a boost. If you’re under a lot of stress, or have a big-time stress arise, know you need to help your energies cope.

Try it for yourself – to get the thrills you must do the drills. Let me know how this energy tapping works for you.

Image result for tapping